11 years, 3 months and 19 days …
Four senior officers of the Rwandan army were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 17 May for crimes committed during the genocide in 1994. But in the case of the former chief of staff of the Gendarmerie Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the sentencing clearly exposed the damage done by one of the tribunal’s worst failings: a preventive detention that went out of control.
General Ndindiliyimana was found guilty of genocide even though the judgment acknowledged “his consistent support for the Arusha [Peace] Accords and a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Rwandan government forces and the [Rwandan Patriotic Front] RPF and his opposition to the massacres in Rwanda.” He was then sentenced to “time served since he was arrested in Belgium, on 29 January 2000.” As a result, Ndindiliyimana’s sentence was 11 years, 3 months and 19 days.
Unprecedented and shocking