Arusha, June 1, 2001 (FH) The Appeals Court of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday rejected the appeals of former Rwandan prefect Clément Kayishema and former businessman Obed Ruzindana against their judgements and sentences. It also rejected an appeal by the Prosecutor, saying that documents had not been submitted on time.

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The two Rwandans were convicted on May 21st, 1999, after a joint trial. Kayishema was found guilty on four counts of genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment. Ruzindana was found guilty on one count of genocide, and sentenced to 25 years. Both were convicted for their part in massacres of Tutsis in the Kibuye region of western Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Kayishema was prefect of Kibuye. "The Appeals Chamber declares irreceivable by four votes to one the appeal and memorandum of the Prosecutor; rejects unanimously the reasons for appeal raised by Clément Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana," said presiding judge Claude Jorda of France. The two accused had appealed on the basis of alleged errors of fact and law. Kayishema is represented by French lawyer André Ferran and Ruzindana by Pascal Besnier, also of France. The Prosecutor had appealed that both accused should be convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as genocide, and that Ruzindana's sentence be increased to life. "According to the facts as found by the Trial Chamber, the conduct of both was so horribly widespread and sustained that no meaningful distinction is possible," the Prosecutor told the Appeals Chamber at a hearing last October. " The Prosecutor believes that the only possible sentence that could reflect Ruzindana's crimes is life. "All the appeals judges, with the exception of Judge Mohammed Shahabuddeen of Guyana rejected the Prosecutor's appeal, however, on the grounds that she had not followed the proper procedures. "The lapse of time shows a lack of diligence on following up the question," said Judge Jorda," and in addition the motion did not detail the precise grounds on which the Prosecutor was seeking redress. "JC/MBR/FH (KY0601e)