Arusha, December 21, 2012 (FH) –The International Criminal Court (ICC) this week acquitted Congolese alleged ex-militia leader, Mathieu Ngudjolo, accused of war crimes for lack of evidence while the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced to 35 years in jail former Rwandan Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, for his role in 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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Judges orders release of Ngudjolo: Judges of the Court Tuesday acquitted alleged former militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo of all charges of crimes against humanity committed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003. They ordered his immediate release and requested the Court Registry to take all necessary steps to protect witnesses. The judges said that in view of all the evidence presented, the Chamber has not been able to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was the leader of the Lendu fighters who took part in the attack on Bogoro on February 24, 2003.


Ban Ki-moon appoints new ICTR registrar: On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Christopher Bongani Majola as new Registrar of the Tribunal. The appointment of Majola, a South African, is effective from January 1, 2013, for a term of four years or until the closure of the ICTR, whichever is sooner. He replaces Senegalese Adama Dieng, who was appointed by the Secretary General as his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on July 17, 2012.


Judges convict a former minister: Judges of the Tribunal Thursday sentenced to 35 years imprisonment ex-Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, for genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. They ruled that the offences were committed in April 1994 in Nyamyumba commune, Gisenyi prefecture in North Rwanda. Ngirabatware was found to have distributed weapons, making statements to incite the Killings of Tutsis and committing rape through a joint criminal enterprise in the extended form.


Mugesera trial starts: On Monday the trial for Rwandan former politician, Leon Mugesera, took off before the High Court in Kigali with his lawyers claiming that the case was outside the temporal jurisdiction of the court. The court adjourned to December 24, when it will pronounce a decision. Mugesera is accused of inciting genocide in a 1992 speech.


French justice refuses to extradite two Rwandans: Judges in France Wednesday refused to extradite to Kigali Hyacinthe Nsengiyumva Rafiki, a former minister and Vénuste Nyombayire, who was a senior official, accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide in their country.The Paris court of appeal ruled that the charges contained in the extradition request were insufficiently precise and could not be directly linked to them.