Arusha, 21 May 2007 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has confirmed on Monday the life imprisonment sentence for Mika Muhimana, former Councilor of Gishyita sector ( Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda) after finding him guilty of genocide, rape and murder as crimes against humanity.
Mika Muhimana, 57, was arrested in November 1999 and sentenced to imprisonment for the remainder of his life on April 28th 2005 by a Trial Chamber presided over by Mrs. Khalida Rashid Khan (Pakistan).
The Appeals Chamber presided over by M. Fausto Pocar (Italy) dismissed 14 of his 16 grounds of appeals. The appeals' hearing was held on January 15th 2007.
Some dissident opinions had been pointed out without any modification of the verdict.
The prosecution team led by Charles Adeogun Philips (Nigeria) had presented 19 witnesses and had especially insisted on rapes and sexual aggressions the defendant was charged with.
He was also accused of having led attacks against Tutsis who had sought refuge in the Bisesero hills, the best known case of Tutsi resistance against attackers during the genocide.
The defence, led by James Nyabirungu (Democratic Republic of Congo), had presented 33 witnesses in a record time of 14 trial days.
The speed of the trial (34 trial days) had been praised, in particular, by the Rwandan representative at the ICTR after the verdict.
© Hirondelle News Agency