The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday sentenced to 35 years in jail Ildephonse Nizeyimana, a former captain in the Rwandan army who had been sentenced to life by the trial court.
At the time of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Captain Nizeyimana, the last military official to be tried by the ICTR, was head of military intelligence and operations at the Ecole des sous-officiers (junior officers’ training school, ESO) in Butare, southern Rwanda.
On June 19, 2012, the trial court sentenced him to life in jail for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for numerous killings perpetrated mainly in April 1994 in and around Butare.
The appeals judges cancelled certain findings of the lower court but confirmed his convictions for genocide and crimes against humanity.
Nizeyimana, who comes from the northern prefecture of Gisenyi like the late president Juvénal Habyarimana, was found guilty of ordering several murders in Butare, including that of Rosalie Gicanda, widow of the next to last king of Rwanda, Charles-Léon-Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa.
Queen Rosalie Gicanda is related to current Rwandan president Paul Kagame.
Presiding appeals judge Theodor Meron said Nizeyimana would remain in the custody of the ICTR pending a decision on where he would serve his sentence.
Some specialists such as French sociologist André Guichaoua portray Nizeyimana as one of the main instigators of the genocide in Butare.
By Hirondelle news agency