Appeal Judgement in Prosecutor v. Fatuma et al. scheduled for Wednesday, 29 June 2022: Accreditation procedure now open
The Appeals Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (“Mechanism”) has scheduled the pronouncement of the Appeal Judgement in the case of Prosecutor v. Marie Rose Fatuma, Dick Prudence Munyeshuli, and Augustin Ngirabatware for Wednesday, 29 June 2022 at 10:30 EAT/ 9:30 CEST in the Courtroom of the Mechanism’s Arusha branch.
The accreditation procedure for media and non-media representatives wishing to attend the pronouncement of the Appeal Judgement is now open.
Media representatives wishing to enter the premises on that day must submit an accreditation request to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 24 June 2022 at 18:00 EAT.
Accreditation requests should include the full name of the media outlet, journalist(s), cameramen, and other technicians, as well as passport or ID number.
The available space to be allocated to the accredited media will be limited to the Press Centre only. Accredited media representatives will be able to follow the broadcast of the proceedings with a 30-minute delay from the Press Centre.
Members of the diplomatic corps and other members of the public wishing to attend the pronouncement of the Judgement should request accreditation by sending an email to email@example.com by Friday, 24 June 2022 at 18:00 EAT.
The available space for the members of the diplomatic corps and others will be very limited and will include access to dedicated areas inside the Mechanism’s premises where the hearing will be broadcast with a 30-minute delay. The public gallery has very limited space so the Mechanism reserves the right to allocate visitors to view the proceedings elsewhere on the premises.
Accredited media and non-media representatives will be notified by email of the status of their accreditation and collection details by Monday, 27 June 2022 at 18:00 EAT.
More information on COVID-19 restrictions and procedures to follow prior to entering and while on the Mechanism’s premises will be communicated to the accredited media and non-media representatives via email in due course.
The hearing will be broadcast on the Mechanism’s website with a 30-minute delay. More information about the Mechanism’s hearing schedule can be found in the Court Calendar.
The hearing will be publicly broadcast on the Mechanism’s website with a 30-minute delay and will be available at the following link: https://www.irmct.org/en/cases/arusha-branch-courtroom-broadcast. The hearing can be followed in English, French, and Kinyarwanda.
The Press Centre will be equipped with work spaces, power outlets, and a Wi-Fi connection. Please note that there will only be a limited number of feeds available at the Press Centre area for accredited media wishing to record the delayed broadcast. Journalists wishing to connect to the feeds for the delayed broadcast in the Press Centre area should bring compatible equipment and a BNC cable. Furthermore, filming of the proceedings will be carried out by authorised Mechanism staff and an audiovisual copy of the pronouncement of the Judgement will be distributed after the hearing is complete. Media wishing to obtain footage of the hearing should send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that footage will be provided in the MP4 format and it will include the option of English, French, Kinyarwanda, or floor channels.
On 24 August 2018, Judge Seon Ki Park confirmed an Indictment against Maximilien Turinabo, Anselme Nzabonimpa, Jean de Dieu Ndagijimana, Marie Rose Fatuma, and Dick Prudence Munyeshuli (Turinabo et al.), dated 5 June 2018 for contempt of court and incitement to commit contempt, pursuant to Article 1(4)(a) of the Mechanism’s Statute (Statute) and Rule 90 of the Mechanism’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence (Rules). Judge Joensen was assigned as the Single Judge in this case on 11 September 2018. Subsequent to Defence challenges to the form of the indictments as well as a Prosecution motion to amend the indictment, the operative Indictment was filed on 21 October 2019.
On 10 October 2019, Judge Vagn Joensen, acting in his capacity as the Duty Judge for the Arusha Branch, confirmed an Indictment against Augustin Ngirabatware, dated 9 August 2019, for contempt of court and incitement to commit contempt, pursuant to Article 1(4)(a) of the Statute and Rule 90 of the Rules. Judge Joensen was assigned as the Single Judge in this case on 11 October 2019.
On 10 December 2019, Judge Vagn Joensen issued a decision joining the Ngirabatware case with the Turinabo et al. case. Each of the six accused pleaded not guilty to the respective count or counts charged against him or her.
On 22 October 2020, the trial commenced with the Prosecution’s opening statement, and nine Prosecution witnesses were heard between 26 October and 24 November 2020.
On 15 March 2021, the trial continued with the Defence’s opening statement, and six Defence witnesses (including 2 accused) were heard between 15 March and 9 April 2021.
Due to the passing of Mr. Turinabo in April 2021 and the resulting termination of proceedings against him, the operative Indictment filed on 21 October 2019 was replaced with a revised version on 12 May 2021 reflecting that Mr. Turinabo was no longer an accused in the case.
The parties filed their final trial briefs on 31 May 2021 and the trial concluded on 21, 22, and 23 June 2021 with oral closing arguments.
The Trial Judgement was pronounced on 25 June 2021 and written reasons for the judgement were issued on 20 September 2021.
The Single Judge convicted Augustin Ngirabatware, Anselme Nzabonimpa, Jean de Dieu Ndagijimana, and Marie Rose Fatuma of contempt for witness interference. The Single Judge also convicted Augustin Ngirabatware for contempt on the basis of violating court orders, while entering a verdict of not guilty for Dick Prudence Munyeshuli, on a single contempt charge for violations of court orders. The Single Judge sentenced Augustin Ngirabatware to two years’ imprisonment to be served concurrently with his existing 30-year sentence handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Anselme Nzabonimpa, Jean de Dieu Ndagijimana, and Marie Rose Fatuma were sentenced to time served, having spent over 11 months in pre-trial detention.
On 27 September 2021, following a joint Defence request for extension of time for filing notices of appeal and appeal briefs, the President of the Mechanism, Judge Carmel Agius, assigned a bench of three Judges to this case, and designated himself as Pre-Appeal Judge.
On 28 September 2021, the Pre-Appeal Judge granted the joint Defence request for extension of time, ordering that notices of appeal be filed by 18 October 2021 and appeal briefs by 17 November 2021.
On 18 October 2021, notices of appeal were filed by Marie Rose Fatuma against her conviction and sentence, and by the Prosecution against the acquittal of Dick Prudence Munyeshuli as well as the sentence imposed on Augustin Ngirabatware. On 16 November 2021, the Appeals Chamber denied Dick Prudence Munyeshuli’s request to strike the Prosecution’s Notice of Appeal in respect of him. Dick Prudence Munyeshuli, Augustin Ngirabatware, and the Prosecution filed their respective response briefs on 8 December 2021, and Dick Prudence Munyeshuli refiled his response brief on 17 December 2021.
On 4 February 2022, the Appeals Chamber dismissed a joint motion by Marie Rose Fatuma and Dick Prudence Munyeshuli to hold an oral appeal hearing in this case, finding that the information before it well enabled it to reach an informed decision on the appeals and that, balancing all interests involved, holding an oral hearing was not necessary.