Arusha, December 1, 2003 (FH) – Former Mukingo Mayor and genocide suspectJuvenal Kajelijeli was on Monday sentenced to imprisonment for the rest ofhis life by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The tribunal found the mayor guilty on three counts of charges out of thenine he was facing.

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He was convicted of genocide, direct and publicincitement to genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity. He will serve imprisonment for the remainder of his life on the charges ofgenocide and extermination. For direct and public incitement to genocide hewas given a fifteen year jail term. Kajelijeli, 52 who stood near his counsel Lennox Hinds (USA) looked shockedas the sentence was pronounced. . The chamber found that he directed and participated in the killings ofTutsis that went on in various locations within Ruhengeri prefecture duringthe 1994 genocide. Before the presiding Judge William Hussein Sekule (Tanzania), announced thesentence, he went through the factors which aggravated Kajelijeli's crimesHe said that Kajelijeli” was a man devoted to his evil cause”, adding thatwhen requested to stop the killings, he was unwavering in his genocidalresolve, insisting it was necessary to continue. “He used his considerable influence to bring people together in order tocommit massacres” Sekule said. The judge went on that Kajelijeli saw to it that weapons were provided tothe killers so that the attacks would be more devastating. “He acted as abridge between the military and civilian spheres in an effort to attack andmassacre the civilian Tutsi population. ”GenocideKajelijeli, the judge said, had contributed to the deaths of more Tutsisthan those he claimed to have saved. “He participated by instigatingattackers against members of the Tutsi group in Mukingo commune, Nkulicommune and Kigombe communes”. He directed attacks at Busogo hill where a large number of Tutsis lost theirlives. Furthermore he commanded and supervised another attack at Busogoparish. The chamber further noted that Kajelijeli was a leader of the Interahamwe inMukingo and had influence over the Interhamwe of Nkuli but he failed to takethe necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the killings. He insteadabetted and instigated the attacks. The chamber found beyond a reasonable doubt that Kajelijeli is individuallycriminally responsible for the genocide committed by his subordinates. Incitement and exterminationConcerning the count of incitement, the chamber found that he incited theInterahamwe publicly at Byangabo market on April 7th to commit genocide inNkuli commune. He assembled the Interahamwe to kill and exterminate Tutsisin Nkuli at a place called Rwankeri cellule. The chamber also found that mass killings of Tutsi occurred in Mukingo,Nkuli and the court of appeal house in Ruhengeri town. ”These constitute awidespread attack upon the civilian Tutsi group”. Kajelijeli, was criminally responsible for the acts of exterminationcommitted by his subordinates at the three places. Kajelijeli was however acquitted on the charge of rape since the prosecutionhad failed to prove that he was personally present during the rapes of Tutsiwomen by the interahamwe. The three judges gave unanimous verdicts on all the counts except the countof rape where Judge Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) gave a dissentingopinion. They also dismissed the count of murder as a crime against humanity. Tothem, there was insufficient distinction drawn in the indictment between thegeneral allegations of murder and extermination. Another count which was dismissed was that of persecution as a crime againsthumanity. The chamber allowed a request by the prosecution for thewithdrawal of the indictment for lack of sufficient evidence andsubsequently dismissed it. On Kajelijeli's mitigation, Judge Sekule stated that there is no credit tohim for the fact that some Tutsis sought refuge in his house during the 1994massacres. The credit would instead go to his second wife in Nkuli communewhere the Tutsis hid. Moreover, judge Sekule added that the fact that Kajelijeli evacuated oneTutsi did not mitigate his culpability for the genocide. The trial commenced in July 4th 2001 and lasted for seventy eight days. Fourteen prosecution witnesses and twenty eight defence witnesses wereheard. Kajelijeli was arrested in Benin on June 5th 1998 and was transferred to UNdetention facility Arusha on September 10th 1998. Kajelijeli is the thirteenth genocide suspect to be convicted by ICTR. The trial was before Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR is composed of JudgeWilliam Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar andWinston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu from Lesotho. PJ/CE/FH (KJ'1201e)