ICTR upholds convictions

08 October 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

ICTR authorities in Kigali reacted with relief last week when the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) upheld genocide convictions in cases against three political leaders and an army official. 

The court confirmed life sentences for Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Édouard Karemera, two of the most senior leaders of Rwanda’s ruling party during the 1994 genocide [IJT-143]. They were convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity for not preventing or punishing the slaughter committed by their party’s youth militia, the Interahamwe. The court also upheld a life sentence for former youth minister Callixte Nzabonimana for genocide.

In a separate case, the ICTR upheld the conviction of former army captain Ildéphonse Nizeyimana, but reduced his life sentence to 35 years. Nizeyimana is the last military official to be tried by the ICTR.

Earlier this year, Kigali accused the court’s appeals chamber and its president of unjustly acquitting high-ranking military and civilian officials convicted by lower chambers or drastically reducing their sentences [IJT-156, IJT-163]. 

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