The Defence in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Bernard Ntuyahaga has filed an urgent motion for an immediate stay of execution of the decision rendered by Trial Chamber 1 on 18 March 1999 granting the Prosecution leave to withdraw the indictment against the accused and to release him immediately from the Tribunal's Detention Facility.
Mr. Georges Komlavi Amegadjie, the Defence Counsel for Ntuyahaga filed the motion on 21 March 1999 arguing that his client needed shelter at the United Nations Detention Facilities (UNDF), for his safety and while waiting for the Registrar of the Tribunal to take appropriate measures to smoothly execute the decision. He further argued that his client cannot take shelter at the UNDF without the Trial Chamber 1 ordering an immediate stay of execution of the decision.
The Defence has also filed a notice of appeal against the decision arguing that it be set aside and a judgement of acquittal, namely a judgement that the appellant is not guilty, entered. The motion is filed on the grounds that the Prosecutor has to date not complied with the provisions of Rule 66 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and has on the contrary, formally refused to disclose to the accused the supporting material for the count charged against him, inspite of the request made by the Counsel for the accused on 13 November 1998 to obtain this evidence.
Mr. Amegadjie argued that the decision wrongly applied the Rule 98bis which deals with the entry of a judgement of acquittal where the Prosecutor has duly disclosed her evidence to the accused and submitted them to the Chamber for consideration. In law, the Counsel argued, the entry of a judgement of acquittal cannot be restricted to the case where after consideration of the evidence, the Judges find that it is insufficient or without merit. He argued that acquittal should legally be entered where it is found that the Prosecutor has not proven the charges alleged against Ntuyahaga.
In its decision on 18 March 1999, the Trial Chamber ordered the immediate release of the accused and for the Registrar to take all necessary measures to execute the decision, if need be, with the cooperation of the authorities of the host state, the United Republic of Tanzania.