On May 17, 2011, presiding Judge Joseph Asoka de Silva in the case of Generals Augustin Bizimungu and Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, read only a summary of the judgement and said the original one would be availed to the parties at a later stage.
After their careful analysis, the parties (prosecution and defence) would have the opportunity to prepare their respective eventual appeals if they so find necessary. According to the judgement, the two generals were convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
General Bizimungu, ex-Chief of Staff of the Army was jailed 30 years, while General Ndindiliyimana of the Gendarmerie was sentenced to the time served since his arrest on January 29, 2000 in Belgium.
Whereas Nzuwonemeye, ex-Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion and Sagahutu, a member of the unity, were ordered to remain behind bars for 20 years each, after being convicted of crime against humanity and war crimes. .
According to the Rules of the Tribunal, the parties have one month to file their notices of intention to appeal against the judgement, a move that will be followed by lodging appeals briefs.
However, it has been a tradition at the ICTR to count those 30 days from the date they receive copy of judgement in a language they understand.
Original copy of judgement filed is in English language, while the language for all the convicts is French. The convicts have already filed applications for extension of time to lodge notices of appeal for fear of being time barred.
In the meantime, the bench that will preside over the appeals has been set composed of Judges Patrick Robinson, Presiding, Liu Daqun, Andrésia Vaz, Theodor Meron and Carmel Agius.
© Hirondelle News Agency