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01 June 2001 by -

Director of the Gisovu tea factory

Alfred Musema was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
© Réseau Intermedia.

Identity

  • Alfred Musema was born on 22 August 1949 in Rutare commune, Byumba prefecture. At the time of the events referred in the indictment, Alfred Musema was the Director of the Gisovu tea factory in Kibuye prefecture.

Charges

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01 June 2001 by -

The Musema case - the most controversial judgement handed down by the Tribunal for Rwanda to date - has gone before the appeals court.
Two conflicting dangers appear to hang over the appeal: the steamroller effect and the boomerang effect. One and a half years after receiving a life
sentence for genocide, Alfred Musema made his first reappearance in court on May 28. The judges are no longer the same; this

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01 June 2001 by -

25th 1999 has been suggested for the opening of the trial of the former Tea factory director from Gisovu in the Kibuye préfecture. Trial Chamber I, presided over by Judge Aspegren in this case, is banking on applying the changes made to the Rules of Procedure in June, aimed at speeding up the trials. The declared objective of this is to finish the trial in three months. He is the most longstanding inmate in the UN prison in Arusha.

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01 June 2001 by -

Judge Lennart Aspegren recently announced his intention to make the Musema case a model of rapidity without jeopardising the fairness of the trial. On 18 and 20 November, he gave a first glimpse of the strategy by precipitating the stately pace of the ICTR. Two motions discussed immediately, two decisions anounced straightaway, an initial hearing, two in camera sessions and all in the space of 48 hours - nothing less than a small revolution which, hopefully, others will follow.

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12 October 2001 by -

Semanza's defence team has again failed in its attempts to use a legal document in order to challenge key ICTR rulings. It was deemed inadmissible on May 4 before the Appeals Court and once again on October 5, Trial Chamber 3 has dismissed it. Both courts refuse to examine a potentially scandalous document filed by Laurent Semanza's defence team concerning the illegality of his initial detention in Cameroon.

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01 June 2001 by -

Between February 2nd and 5th, three extra prosecution witnesses gave evidence against Alfred Musema. Like their predecessors, they talked about the massacres on the hills of Bisesero. These escapees filled in gaps in the story of the attack on Muyira hill, in mid-May, and the one on the cave at Nyakavumu. The trial resumes on February 23rd. Witness D is a 38 year-old Tutsi woman from Kibuye. Her job in April 1994 is being kept secret so that her identity is not revealed. For the prosecution, Holo Makwaia indicated that her evidence calls other ICTR defendants into question.

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01 June 2001 by -

On May 6th, the Chamber ratified the prosecution's application for an amendment to the indictment so that new charges of sexual crimes can be included. After many months of procrastination, this motion was submitted on April 29th, while the witnesses supporting these new charges were still giving evidence to the court. The defence struck out at what it called a « lottery », while the prosecution justified itself by its duty to see that « justice is done ». Sexual crimes in the forefront

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01 June 2001 by -

From February 23rd to 26th, three more prosecution witnesses were heard in the Musema case. They backed up the previous prosecution evidence regarding the attacks on the hills of Bisesero. To protect the witnesses, some of the hearings were held in camera, which became the norm in that period, making public discussion of the evidence in this case increasingly disjointed and difficult to follow. One version after another painted the picture of the Bisesero massacres.

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01 June 2001 by -

For the first time in the history of the ICTR trials, a defence team has travelled to Rwanda. The week-long trip, from 14 to 21 March, was, until recently, considered unthinkable, for reasons of security. The British lawyer, Steven Kay, has proved the opposite. If any lessons are to be learnt from the legal initiative he has shown, however modest, they could have a refreshing impact on the work of the defence, the prosecution and both trial chambers. The Ntuyahaga trial has, quite rightly, caused much ink to flow in the third week of March at the ICTR.

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16 October 2001 by -

On October 17, for the first time in ICTR history, two witnesses will be heard by the Appeals Court. For Alfred Musema, it will be the hour of truth; for the Tribunal, an opportunity to re-examine a controversial ruling. On October 12, Alfred Musema bid farewell to his garden plot in the United Nations prison in Arusha and boarded a plane for Europe. Transferred from Switzerland to Tanzania in May 1997, the former director of the Gisovu tea factory in Rwanda is henceforth an inmate of the Dutch prison in Scheveningen. How long he will remain there is uncertain.

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