Arusha, November 16, 2011(FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will deliver its judgment in the case of two former Rwandan senior military officials, including the alleged mastermind of the 1994 genocide, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, on December 14, 2011.

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The other official is Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. Delivery of the judgment had earlier been set for December 15. A statement issued Wednesday by the press and public affair's section of the Tribunal did not disclose the reasons behind the changes.

Bagosora, former Director of Cabinet in the Defence Ministry and Nsengiyumva, who was in charge of military operations in Gisenyi, are appealing against life imprisonment sentences imposed on them on December 18, 2008 after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Col. Bagosora was convicted of the offences for his role in the killings of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian peacekeepers in charge of her security.

He was also found responsible for crimes committed at several roadblocks in the Kigali area and in his hometown of Gisenyi, northwest Rwanda, between April 6 and 9, 1994.

Nsengiyumva was found responsible for massacres at Mudende University, Nyundo parish, as well as the targeted killings of civilians in the area under his command. He was also found guilty of sending militiamen to the Bisesero area of Kibuye prefecture to kill Tutsi refugees in June 1994.

The duo was tried jointly with two other military officers, Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, in the so-called "Military I case". Ntabakuze was also convicted of same offences and sentenced to life imprisonment by the lower court, while Kabiligi was acquitted.

Ntabakuze, ex-Commander of Para-Commando Battalion, had appealed alongside Bagosora and Nsengiyumva and their appeal hearing was set for March 30, 2011.    

However, Ntabakuze's appeals case was separated from the others after his lead counsel, American lawyer Peter Erlinder, failed to show up on March 30. Ntabakuze's appeal was heard on September 27, 2011, and the Appeals Chamber is still drafting the judgment.


© Hirondelle News Agency