Arusha, 6 February, 2009 (FH)-The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Appeals Court on Monday confirmed life sentence on former Rwandan Kigal Rural Governor, Francois Karera (70), for inciting killings of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.

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The Appeals Chamber affirmed Karera's convictions for instigating and committing genocide and for extermination and murder as crimes against humanity, based on the attack and killings of Tutsi refugees at Ntarama Church on 15 April, 1994.

The five-bench chamber, presided by Fausto Pocar, ordered that Karera remain in the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence.

In December 2007, ICTR's lower court convicted Karera for the massacres of Tutsis between April and June, 1994 in the commune of Rushashi and in the church of Ntarama as in Nyamirambo, a district of Kigali where he had a residence.

Meanwhile, Fifty-five-year old Salome Mukantuuali, wife of former Rwandan acting  Interior Minister Calixte Kalimanzira on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity before the ICTR, Thursday strongly dismissed an allegation that her husband participated in the killings of ethnic Tutsis during 1994 genocide .She told the attentive court that she would have not agreed to testify if she knew that her husband "is a man killer".

The witness, however, admitted that she was not with her husband between April 20 and May 31, 1994.

Mrs Kalimanzira, who was 18th defence witness, concluded her testimony Thursday. The hearing has been adjourned to next Tuesday when the accused himself, Kalimanzira, will be in the dock.

In another development, the Office of Prosecutor at the ICTR was still fighting to be able to adduce additional evidence within the framework of the new trial of Lieutenant Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi, which is having trouble starting.

On 29 August, 2008, the Appeals Chamber ordered that Muvunyi be retried for direct and public incitement to commit genocide, linked to an alleged speech which he made in May 1994 at the Commerce Center of Gikore in Butare, southern Rwanda.

The prosecution intends to call six witnesses for the re-trial whereas, at the time of the first trial, only two had testified on that fact.

The senior officer, who was based, in 1994, at the School for Non-Commissioned Officers of Butare (ESO), was found guilty on 12 September 2006, of "genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhuman acts".

All these guilty verdicts were cancelled by the appeal judges who ordered a new trial bearing on a single fact and a single count of the indictment.


© Hirondelle News Agency