Arusha, June 9, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has refused to admit additional evidence in the appeal lodged by Rwandan Roman Catholic Priest Emmanuel Rukundo, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail for genocide.

1 min 11Approximate reading time

In its decision dated June 4, 2010, the Appeals Chamber said that Rukundo (51) failed to demonstrate that the additional evidence he had sought to include in his appeal scheduled for hearing on June 15,  would have had an impact on the verdict given by the lower court.

"The Appeals Chamber is also not convinced that the exclusion of this material would amount at a miscarriage of justice," it said.

Trial Chamber II of the UN-Tribunal convicted former Military Chaplain on February 27, 2009 of genocide, extermination and murder of people sought refuge at St. Joseph's College and St. Leon Minor Seminary in Gitarama area, Central Rwanda.

Father Rukundo had requested admission of statements given in Rwanda by prosecution witness code named "BLP" relating to his credibility on evidence concerning crimes committed at St. Joseph's College. He had also sought for hearing of testimonies of two defence witnesses "SLB" and "SLZ" concerning St Leon Minor Seminary event.

The Appeals Chamber ruled that it was not persuaded that Rukundo had exercised due diligence in his attempts to present  the evidence of the two witnesses at the trial, noting that the Trial Chamber had denied his request because of failure to substantiate it adequately.

Rukundo was found to have played an integral role on four occasions in abduction and killing of the Tutsi refugees. The Trial Chamber held that there was clear evidence that Rukundo directed the killings of Tutsi civilians at Gitarama area during the 1994 genocide.

He was arrested in Switzerland July 2001 and transferred to the ICTR detention center two months later.  


© Hirondelle News Agency