Arusha, March 14, 2012 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will deliver its judgment in the case of former Rwandan businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga on May 8, 2012.

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Kanyarukiga is appealing a jail term of 30 yearshanded down on November 1, 2010 for genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity.

He was convicted of planning, with others, the demolition of a church in western Rwanda, on April 16, 1994. About 2,000 Tutsis, who had taken refuge in Nyange church in Kivumu commune, Kibuye prefecture, were killed.

It was announced late last month that on the same day the Appeals Chamber would deliver two judgments in the cases of former Rwandan military officials, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana, who are challenging life imprisonment sentences for their involvement in the 1994 genocide.

During the hearing of Kanyarukiga's appeal case on December 14, 2011, the prosecution asked the Chamber to increase the 30-year-imprisonment sentence imposed on him. However, the defendant's Lead Counsel David Jacobs requested the Chamber to set free his client or significantly reduce the sentence imposed if the conviction would be upheld. He submitted that Kanyarukiga was tried and convicted of charges which were not known to him.

The trial took off on August 31, 2008. Kanyarukiga was arrested in South Africa on July 16, 2004 and transferred to Arusha three days later.             


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