Arusha, May 4, 2012 (FH) – Next Tuesday, three genocide convicts will know the outcome of their respective appeals lodged to challenge first instance judgments handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The appeals chamber of the tribunal is set to deliver judgments in cases involving two ex-military officials, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Lieutenant Ildephonse

Hategekimana and that of businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga.

The two former members of the Rwandan Army are appealing life imprisonment sentences handed down for their role in the 1994 genocide, while the businessman is challenging a 30-year jail term.

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 various locations in Kigali. During hearing of appeal on September 27, 2011, Ntabakuze’s Lead Counsel, Andre Tremblay, sought for acquittal of his client.

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.

On December 15, 2011 when his appeal was heard, Hategekimana’s Lead Counsel Jean de Dieu Momo, asked the Chamber to set free his client, alleging that the evidence given by prosecution to substantiate the charges were not of eye witnesses, hence hear say and full of lies.

Kanyarukiga, on the other hand, was convicted on November 1, 2010 of genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity for 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.

A day before, (May 7), the Chamber will hear appeals in the case of Jean-Baptiste Gatete, ex- Rwandan Director in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs. He was convicted of genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity on March 29, 2011and sentenced to life imprisonment. The defence challenges both conviction and the sentence imposed and is seeking for the convict’s acquittal. The prosecution disputes the lower court’s verdict for its failure to convict the official of conspiracy to commit genocide and requests for correction of the error.