Arusha, December 14, 2011(FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday reduced to 35 years the life imprisonment sentence imposed on the Tribunal's most prominent detainee, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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"The Appeals Chamber sets aside the sentence of life imprisonment imposed on Bagosora by the Trial Chamber, and, Judges (Faustor Pocar and Liu (Dagun) dissenting, imposes a sentence of 35 years of imprisonment," announced presiding Judge Theodor Meron.

According to the presiding judge, the Chamber took into consideration the reversal of Bagosora's conviction on findings by the Trial Chamber relating to the crimes for which he was held responsible, result in a reduction of his overall culpability, which calls for reduction of his sentence.

In the same judgment, the Chamber also reduced the life imprisonment sentence imposed on Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva to 15 years imprisonment after granting his several grounds of appeal to fault the Trial Chamber's findings regarding his role in the 1994 genocide.

Considering the time he spent in detention since his arrest, the Chamber ordered his immediate release from prison. Nsengiyumva was arrested on March 27, 1996 in Cameroon and transferred to the UN Detention in Arusha on January 23, 1997.

In its judgement, however, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the conviction of the two former senior military officers of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as superior responsibility for failure to prevent crimes and punish their subordinates.

Col. Bagosora, the former Rwandan Director of Cabinet in the Ministry of Defence, was found liable for the killings at various placed in Kigali area, including Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and other influential persons, between April 6 and 9, 1994.  

Whereas Nsengiyumva , who was in charge of military operations in Gisenyi, North Rwanda, was found liable for his role in the killings in Gisenyi town on 7 April 1994.   


© Hirondelle News Agency