Arusha, June 18, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) this week conducted three sessions on appeals involving genocide-convicts Callixte Kalimanzira, Emmanuel Rukundo and Tharcisse Renzaho.

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The prosecution requested for maximum penalty of life imprisonment against the convicts considering the gravity of offences and their role they played in commission of crimes.

However, counsel for convicts sought for acquittal, saying the prosecution failed to prove the charges, citing, among others, contradictions of testimonies given by witnesses.

Kalimanzira, former Rwandan senior civil servant, challenged the 30-year-sentence imposed on him for genocide and incitement to commit genocide, while Father Rukundo, former Military Chaplain, was against the 25-jail-term for genocide, extermination and murder, saying he was not genocide perpetrator.

Renzaho, former Kigali Governor, protested life imprisonment sentence meted against him for genocide, murder and rape, claiming he never planned to eliminate Tutsis.

Trial of former Deputy Governor, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, came to the end this week when the prosecution and defence presented their closing arguments.

The prosecution requested for life imprisonment sentence against Ntawukulilyayo, saying it had proved beyond reasonable doubt offences of genocide and direct incitement to commit genocide he was facing.

However, the defence asked for acquittal of the accused, claiming that his guilt has not been proved as the indictment was not substantiated by any solid evidence from prosecution witnesses.

In another development, American lawyer Peter Erlinder, who has been detained in Kigali since May 28 for "genocide negation" was granted bail Thursday on medical grounds. Defence hearing of former Secretary General of MRND, Joseph Nzirorera, resumes Thursday.


© Hirondelle News Agency