Ntabakuze, ex-Commander of the Rwandan Para-Commando Battalion was convicted for genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment alongside two other officers, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and Lieutenant Colonel Aloys Nsengiyumva whose appeal hearing had already been heard on March 30, 2011.
The trio was jointly tried in a case commonly known as Military I.
The hearing of Major Ntabakuze's appeal was delayed following the Appeals Chamber decision to sanction former Lead counsel for the appellant, American lawyer Peter Erlinder for failure to represent his client in his appeal (March 30, 2011).
In its decision dated April 21, 2011, the Chamber ordered Erlinder's replacement as counsel for the former Rwandan military officer for misconduct, prompting the Registrar of the Tribunal to appoint Canadian lawyer, Professor Andre Tremblay lead counsel for the appellant. Professor Tremblay used to be the Co-counsel for Major Ntabakuze.
Erlinder was reportedly worried to travel to Arusha, Tanzania, at the Tribunal's seat, for the appeal hearing of Major Ntabakuze allegedly for threats on his life.
Under such circumstances, the Chamber was compelled to postpone the hearing and granted an order, separating Ntabakuze's appeal from the other two, Colonel Bagosora and Lieutenant Colonel Nsengiyumva.
They were each sentenced to life imprisonment on December 18, 2008 for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
© Hirondelle News Agency