Arusha, December 13, 2011 (FH) -The prosecution will not appeal against the trial judgment handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to four former Rwandan ministers on September 30. Two of them were acquitted, while the rest were sentenced to 30 years in jail.

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"We see no ground of appealing in this case," Chief of the Appeals and Legal Advisory Division within the Office of the Prosecutor, James Arguin, told Hirondelle News agency on Tuesday.   

On September 30, 2011, a Trial Chamber of the Tribunal ordered the immediate release of ex-Rwandan ministers Casimir Bizimungu (Health) and Jérome Bicamumpaka (Foreign Affairs), for insufficient evidence.   

It sentenced to 30 years imprisonment Justin Mugenzi (Trade) and Prosper Mugiraneza (Public Service), of conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide for their role in removing the prefect of Butare on April 17, 1994, and replacing him two days later.   

The Chamber concluded that the dismissal of prefect Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana was intended to undermine the real and symbolic resistance to the genocide in Butare.   

Based on Mugenzi's and Mugiraneza's participation in the decision to remove Butare's Tutsi prefect, Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana, the Chamber convicted them for conspiracy to commit genocide.   

The Chamber also noted that Mugenzi and Mugiraneza also attended the inauguration ceremony for the new prefect on April 19, 1994, where President Théodore Sindikubwabo gave an inflammatory speech.   

Judge Emile Short issued a dissenting opinion on the sentence, saying the two convicts deserved a reduction of five years for violation of right to trial without undue delay.   

The ministers were jointly charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity (murder, extermination and rape) and war crimes in the case known as Government II.


© Hirondelle News Agency