On March 29, 2011, Gatete was found responsible beyond reasonable doubt for deaths of hundreds, and possibly thousands of Tutsis, at three different massacre sites in the Eastern part of Rwanda between April 7 and 12, 1994. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The prosecution disputed the verdict for the lower court’s failure to convict the Rwandan official of conspiracy to commit genocide and asked the Appeals Chamber to correct such error.
‘’The Trial Chamber errored for not convicting Gatete for conspiracy. All condition were met and it had no choice of not convicting him for that,’’ argued Prosecution Attorney Priya Narayanan.
Earlier the prosecution challenged five grounds of appeals as advanced by the defence including the appellant absence at the massacres sites, seven-year period spent in detention before the commencement of the trial, and errors in law and facts.
Counsel for the Defence, Marie-Pierre Poulain opposed the prosecution submission allegedly for lack evidence.
‘’There is no sufficient evidence to prove that Gatete conspired with others to commit genocide,’’ Poulain told the Appeals Chamber Presided by Judge Liu Daqun.
The defence in its submission challenged both conviction and the sentence imposed and asked the Appeals Chamber to acquit Gatete on all counts or significantly reduce the penalty.
‘’All errors raised in our submission including errors of facts and law and excessive detention, called for reduction of the punishment,’’ emphasized the defence Counsel in her concluding remarks.
Gatete (59) was arrested in Congo-Brazzaville on September 11, 2002 and subsequently transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha. His trial started on October 20, 2009.