ICTR Appeals Chamber Delivers Judgements in Three Cases

ICTR

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today delivered its judgement in three cases: Édouard Karemera and Matthieu Ngirumpatse; Ildéphonse Nizeyimana; and Callixte Nzabonimana.

Édouard Karemera and Matthieu Ngirumpatse

On 21 December 2011, Trial Chamber III convicted Karemera and Ngirumpatse of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, genocide, extermination and rape as crimes against humanity, and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. The Trial Chamber sentenced Karemera and Ngirumpatse to life imprisonment.

The Appeals Chamber affirmed Karemera’s and Ngirumpatse’s convictions.The Appeals Chamber reversed certain findings of the Trial Chamber, which, however, did not result in the overturning of any of Karemera’s or Ngirumpatse’s convictions. The Appeals Chamber affirmed Karemera’s and Ngirumpatse’s sentences of life imprisonment.

Karemera served as National Secretary, First Vice President, and Executive Bureau member of the MRND party. On 25 May 1994, Karemera became Minister of the Interior and Communal Development for the Interim Government. Ngirumpatse was National Party Chairman and chairman of the MRND Executive Bureau in 1993 and 1994.

Ildéphonse Nizeyimana

On 19 June 2012, the Trial Chamber convicted Ildéphonse Nizeyimana for genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity, and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II. Nizeyimana was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Appeals Chamber affirmed most of Nizeyimana’s convictions. However, it reversed some of them, one of which involved the killing of thousands of displaced persons. As a result, the Appeals Chamber reduced Nizeyimana’s sentence to a term of 35 years of imprisonment.

Nizeyimana held the rank of captain at the military training school, the École des Sous-Officiers in Butare, and served as S2 officer, charged with military intelligence, and S3 officer, responsible for training and operations at the training school.

Callixte Nzabonimana

On 31 May 2012, Trial Chamber III of the Tribunal found that Nzabonimana instigated genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity at the Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994 resulting in the killings of Tutsis at Nyabikenke commune office on 15 April 1994. Nzabonimana was also convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide based on two agreements to commit genocide in Gitarama préfecture. Further, the Trial Chamber found him guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on his speeches at the Butare trading centre on 12 April 1994, the Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994, and at the Murambi training centre on 18 April 1994. Nzabonimana was sentenced to a single term of life imprisonment.

The Appeals Chamber affirmed Nzabonimana’s convictions for instigating genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity in relation to the events at the Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994 and at the Nyabikenke commune office on 15 April 1994. The Appeals Chamber also affirmed his convictions for direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to events at the Butare trading centre and the Cyayi centre, as well as his conviction for conspiracy to commit genocide in relation to the meeting in Murambi on 18 April 1994.

However, the Appeals Chamber reversed Nzabonimana’s convictions for direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to the Murambi meeting on 18 April 1994, and for conspiracy to commit genocide in relation to the establishment of a Crisis Committee and weapons distribution at Tambwe commune. The Appeals Chamber affirmed Nzabonimana’s sentence of life imprisonment.

Nzabonimana served as the Rwandan Minister of Youth and Associative Movements from 8 April 1994 to mid-July 1994 and as the Chairman of the Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement in Gitarama préfecture during the events.