Arusha, June 1, 2001 (FH) The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday confirmed the judgement and life sentence for genocide on former Rwandan mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu, handed down by the Trial Court in 1998. "The Appeals Chamber has examined all the arguments presented by Akayesu, both separately and together," said presiding judge Claude Jorda of France.

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"It concludes that Akayesu has not demonstrated that the Trial Chamber committed the alleged errors of law and of fact. "The Appeals Chamber had earlier rejected a last-minute request by Akayesu's lawyers John Philpot and André Tremblay of Canada that it revise an earlier decision rejecting additional grounds for appeal. "The Appeals Chamber stresses that the reconsideration of a final decision must remain absolutely exceptional," said Jorda. "Akayesu has not demonstrated why the decision would merit reconsideration. On the contrary, Akayesu seems to have formulated an appeal against a decision which is already, in itself, final. Such an interpretation of the rules is unacceptable. "Jorda said the motion had been filed even after the scheduling order had been given for the pronouncement of the judgement on appeal. In these circumstances, he said, the Chamber considered that motion "an abuse of process" and ordered that the lawyers be sanctioned under the Rules of the ICTR. It ordered the Registrar to withhold payment to them for the preparation of that motion. The Chamber said it followed from this that it did not need to examine a motion from another detainee, former Rwandan gendarmerie boss Augustin Ndindiliyimana, who was asking for a right to appear as "amicus curiae" on the Akayesu motion for Reconsideration. Akayesu was mayor of Taba in central Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide. He has been convicted of genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape. He was the first person to be convicted for genocide by an international court. In that judgement, it was also the first time that rape had been recognized as a component of genocide. JC/MBR/FH (AK0601e)