In its appeals brief filed in Nzabonimana’s case, the prosecution is asking the Appeals Chamber to reverse findings of the lower court in relation to events occurred on April 15 and 17, 1994 at Nyabikenke and Rutobwe commune massacres, respectively, in Gitarama prefecture, Central Rwanda.
On May 31, 2012, a Trial Chamber convicted Nzabonimana of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination for other events and sentenced him to life imprisonment, but acquitted him on crimes regarding the two locations cited by prosecution in its appeal.
According to prosecution appeals brief dated September 12, 2012, judges in the first instance erred in law for finding that Nzabonimana merely instigated the Nyabikenke Commune office massacres on April 15, 1994, instead of holding him responsible for committing or ordering the massacres.
The prosecution further submits that the judges should have also convicted him for aiding and abetting killings of Tutsis in Rutobwe Commune on April 17, 1994, for causing the release of killers, who were imprisoned by local authorities for their actions. But the judges acquitted him for insufficient evidence.
For Captain Nizeyimana, the prosecution seeks additional conviction as a superior for crimes committed by soldiers allegedly under him at Butare University and Butare Hospital in South Rwanda.
On June 19, 2012, lower court judges convicted Nizeyimana of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in crimes at several other places in the prefecture in April 1994 and jailed him for life.
But, according to prosecution’s appeals brief filed in the case, the judges should have also found him criminally liable in relation to crimes committed at the two locations. The prosecution submitted that Nizeyimana failed to prevent or punish his subordinates from the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) for their contribution in the crimes.
The evidence, the prosecution alleged, established that Nizeyimana had effective control over the soldiers who participated in the two crime scenes.
Judges had acquitted Nizeyimana in relation to the events because the evidence was insufficient to support findings beyond reasonable doubt or establish his liability.