According to two separate scheduling orders issued on February 29, 2012 and March 2, 2012, Ntabakuze would be the first to receive his judgment followed by Hategekimana. The two officials are challenging life imprisonment sentences imposed on them by lower court for their role in the 1994 genocide.
Ntabakuze, ex-Commander of Para-Commando Battalion, was convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes on December 18, 2008, for participation of soldiers under his command in killings at Kabeza, Nyanza Hill and L'institut Africain et Mauricien de Statistiques et d"Economie Appliquée (IAMSEA) in Kigali.
While Hategekimana, who commanded the small military camp of Ngoma, in Butare (southern Rwanda) in 1994, was found guilty on December 6, 2010, of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in massacres of some individuals and ordering massacres of Tutsi refugees at the Ngoma church.
During hearing of appeals on September 27, 2011 and December 15, 2011 for Ntabakuze and Hategekimana, respectively, the defence sought for acquittal of the defendants for prosecution's failure to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubts.
Ntabakuze's Lead Counsel, Andre Tremblay, had submitted that "evidence produced by prosecution witnesses was so weak to ground conviction and the appellant lacked sufficient notice on commission of crimes for which he was convicted of."
Whereas Jean de Dieu Momo, Lead Counsel for Hategekimana, had alleged that evidence given by prosecution to substantiate the charges were not of eye witnesses, hence hear say and full of lies. But the prosecution in both occasions asked the Chamber to dismiss the appeals for lack of merits.
Ntabakuze was arrested in Kenya on July 18, 1997 and transferred to Arusha on the same day. His trial alongside three other military personnel in a case known as Military I, took off on April 2, 2002.
For Hategekimana, was apprehended in Congo Brazzaville on February 16, 2003 and transferred to ICTR custody three days later. His trial started on March 16, 2009.
© Hirondelle News Agency