Arusha, February 21, 2012 (FH) -The prosecution and defence have lodged notices of appeal to challenge some findings in the judgment delivered on November 17, 2011 in the case of former Rwandan Mayor Gregoire Ndahimana by a Trial Chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The former Mayor of Kivumu commune in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda, was sentenced to a 15-year term for genocide and extermination as crime against humanity.

According to its notice of appeal dated February 17, 2012, the prosecution seeks enhancement of the sentence to life imprisonment. ‘'The 15 years sentence was manifestly inadequate, given Ndahimana's stature as bourgmestre, the gravity of the crimes he committed and the abuse of the trust and confidence invested in him by the people of Kivumu Commune," reads part of the notice of appeal signed by Deputy Prosecutor Bongani Majola.

Furthermore, the prosecution seeks to faulty several other findings by the Trial Chamber in relation to the participation of Ndahimana in massacres of about 2000 Tutsis who had sought refuge at Nyange Church in the commune on April 15 and 16, 1994.

On the other hand, according to its notice of appeal also filed on February 17, 2012, the defence requests the Appeals Chamber to quash both the conviction and the sentence imposed on the former mayor, following several errors by the Trial Chamber in relation to his participation in the massacres.

The defence, in addition, challenges the refusal by the Trial Chamber to accept the convict's defence of alibi over his presence at the massacre site on April 16, 1994 and that the sentence imposed on him was "manifestly unfair and unjust."

Ndahimana was convicted of genocide and extermination by aiding and abetting as well as by virtual of his command responsibility over the communal policemen in connection to the events at the Nyange Church on April 15 and 16, 1994.   

He was arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on August 10, 2009 and transferred to United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on August 21, the same year. Ndahimana's trial took off September 6, 2010.   


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