Arusha, December 14, 2011 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday set aside sentence of 25 years imposed on former Rwandan Deputy Prefect, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo and replace it with 20 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of aiding and abetting killings of Tutsis in April 1994.

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‘'The Appeals Chamber affirms Dominique Ntawukulilyayo's conviction for aiding and abetting genocide in relation to the killings of Tutsis at Kabuye hill (Butare prefecture, South Rwanda),''  Presiding Judge Carmel Agius announced.  

‘'The Trial Chamber erred in holding Mr Ntawukulilya responsible for ordering the killings perpetrated at Kabuye hill and reverses his conviction for ordering genocide in relation to the killings of Tutsis at Kabuye hill,'' Judge Agius stated.

Ntawukulilyayo was deputy governor of Gisagara in Butare prefecture, southern Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide.

The Appeal Chamber agreed with the previous finding by the Trial Chamber that refugees had been moved from Gisagara market to Kabuye hill on Ntawukulilyayo's orders and on the promise that they would be protected.

‘'Ntawukulilyao knew that the Tutsi refugees would not , in fact, be protected at Kabuye hill, but would rather be killed,'' the judgment indicated.

The Appeals Chamber was not also persuaded with the appellant contention that the punishment melted on him by the lower court was excessive and hence sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.  

Born in southern Rwanda in 1942, Ntawukulilyayo was arrested in France in 2007 and transferred to the ICTR on June 5, 2008, after an unsuccessful battle against extradition.

His trial started on May 6, 2009. The prosecution fielded 12 witnesses, while 23 testified for the defence, including the accused himself.

NI /ER/GF   

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