Arusha, September 29, 2014 (FH) – The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is to close its doors by the end of this year, on Monday confirmed a sentence of life in jail for former Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana.
The Appeals judges cancelled some of the factual and legal findings of the trial court but confirmed the criminal responsibility of Nzabonimana, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity. They confirmed that he had incited Hutus to kill Tutsis, particularly in his native prefecture of Gitarama, central Rwanda, in 1994.
The appeals court ordered that he remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending a decision on where he is to serve his sentence.
Following the appeals judgment on Nzabonimana, the ICTR still has two pending cases on appeal. These concern former Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, son-in-law of rich businessman Félicien Kabuga, the most infamous of nine ICTR wanted people still on the run.
The second case involves six people, including former Family Affairs Minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the only woman to be prosecuted by the Tribunal.
The appeals procedure in this case has been slowed by translation problems with regard to the voluminous trial court judgment. A date has not yet been set for the appeals hearing.
Whereas the appeals judgment for Ngirabatware is expected before the end of the year, the Tribunal expects that special measures will be needed for the other trial since it will not be possible to complete it before the end of the year.