Arusha, August 29, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Appeals Chamber will hear the appeal of former Rwandan deputy-governor Dominique Ntawukulilyayo on September 26, 2011, according to a scheduling order.  Ntawukulilyayo is appealing the August 3, 2010 decision of the ICTR lower court which found him guilty of genocide and sentenced him to 25 years in jail.

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Although the lower court convicted Ntawukulilyayo, its decision was not unanimous. Judges Khalida Rachid Khan of Pakistan and Lee Muthoga of Kenya found the defendant guilty of genocide for his role in the 23 April 1994 massacre of Tutsi refugees on Kabuye hill in southern Rwanda. They dismissed charges of complicity in genocide and incitement to commit genocide. Turkish judge Aydin Akay said in a dissenting opinion that he could not agree with the conviction because of contradictions in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses.

Ntawukulilyayo was deputy governor of Gisagara in Butare prefecture, southern Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide. Born in southern Rwanda in 1942, he was arrested in France in 2007 and transferred to the ICTR on June 5, 2008, after an unsuccessful battle against extradition.  

Ntawukulilyayo's trial started on May 6, 2009. The prosecution concluded its case within 21 days (May 26, 2009) after fielding a total of 12 witnesses.

The defence case started on September 29, 2009 and rested on December 18 the same year, after presentation of 23 witnesses including the accused himself.


© Hirondelle News Agency