Arusha, December 16, 2011 (FH) -The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), this week reduced sentences imposed on Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and two other individuals by lower court for their role in the 1994 genocide, while member states of the International Criminal Court (ICC) elected Gambian Fatou Bensouda, as new prosecutor.

1 min 58Approximate reading time


Sentences for Bagosora and two others reduced: The Appeals Chamber Wednesday reduced to 35 years the life imprisonment sentence  inflicted on former Rwanda's Director of Cabinet in the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It imposed a 15-year-jail term to ex-military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, then in charge of military operations in Gisenyi, North Rwanda, who had also been imprisoned for life, for similar offences. Considering the time he spent in detention since his arrest in 1996, the Chamber ordered his immediate release.

The Chamber took into consideration the reversal of the duo's conviction on findings by the lower court relating to the crimes for which they were held responsible, resulting in a reduction of their overall culpability, which calls for reduction of their sentence.

However, the Chamber held them responsible of the crimes as superior responsibility for their failure to prevent the commission of the offenses and punish their subordinates. On the same Wednesday, the Chamber trimmed down to 20, the 25 years jail term passed on ex-Rwandan official, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, for aiding and abetting killings of Tutsis during genocide. It reversed his conviction of ordering the massacres at Kabuye hill in South Rwanda on April 23, 1994.

Hearing of appeals case of Kanyarukiga and Hategekimana: The same Wednesday there was also appeal hearing in the case of former Rwandan businessman, Gaspard Kanyarukiga, who is challenging the 30-year-jail term imposed on him. While the defence sought for acquittal of Kanyarukiga, the prosecution requested for increase of the sentence for his alleged participation in planning the destruction of a church in Western Rwanda, killing about 2,000 Tutsi refugees. On Thursday, the Chamber heard appeal in the case of ex-Rwandan military officer, Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana, who seeks acquittal or reduction of life imprisonment sentence meted to him by lower court.

He claims that the prosecution failed to prove him guilty. The prosecution has, however, opposed Hategekimana's arguments, saying the evidence on record pins him down over his involvement in the massacres of Tutsis in 1994.


Gambian woman elected new prosecutor: Member states of the ICC, Monday unanimously elected Fatou Bensouda of Gambia as the new chief prosecutor. Bensouda, currently ICC deputy prosecutor, will take over the post next June from Luis Moreno-Ocampo, when his mandate ends.

ICC reports Malawi to UN Security Council and General Assembly for non-cooperation: On Monday, the ICC reported Malawi to both the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, for failure to arrest and surrender to the Court Sudan's President Omar Al Bashir during his visit on October 14, 2011.  It found that there was no conflict between Malawi's obligations towards the Court to implement the pending arrest warrants issued against the suspect and its obligations under customary international law.


© Hirondelle News Agency