Arusha, September 27, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is expecting October to deliver judgements in cases of genocide-convicts Callixte Kalimanzira and Priest Emmanuel Rukundo and conduct hearing of appeal involving Lieutenant-Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi.

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According to scheduling orders published in the ICTR website and made available to Hirondelle News Agency Monday, delivery of the two judgements would be on October 20, while hearing of the appeal by defence and prosecution in Muvunyi's case would be held on the next day.

During hearing of appeals involving Kalimanzira and Rukundo, the prosecution requested for maximum penalty of life imprisonment against them, considering the gravity of offences and the role they played in commission of crimes.

However, counsel for both 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.

In the appeal by Muvunyi, former Rwandan military officer, the prosecution is opposing the 15-year-jail term passed against him for his role he played in the 1994 genocide, while the defence is against conviction and sentence given by Trial Chamber III on February 11, 2010.

Muvunyi was convicted of giving a speech at Gikore Centre, Butare Prefecture (Southern Rwanda) in May, 1994, leading killings of Tutsis. Trial Chamber III found that Tutsis were attacked and killed after the meeting. Muvunyi was accused of using Kinyarwanda proverbs to encourage Hutus to kill Tutsis.

The 15-year-jail term was given against Muvunyi after the Appeals Chamber quashed his first conviction and 25 imprisonment sentence passed against him for genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhumane acts.

The Appeals Chamber ordered for retrial on one count of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, throwing out other charges on grounds of errors in the indictment. The single charge of direct and public incitement to commit genocide related to the speech Muvunyi made at Gikore Commercial Centre.


© Hirondelle News Agency