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Appeals Chamber Delivers Judgement in the Bagosora and Nsengiyumva Case
ICTR/INFO-9-2-695.EN
Dec 14, 2011

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Theodor Meron, presiding, Judge Patrick Robinson, Judge Mehmet Güney, Judge Fausto Pocar, and Judge Liu Daqun, today delivered its judgement on the appeals lodged by Théoneste Bagosora and Anatole Nsengiyumva, reversing a number of their convictions and reducing their life sentences to 35 and 15 years of imprisonment, respectively.

On 18 December 2008, Trial Chamber I found Bagosora and Nsengiyumva guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II for crimes committed in April and June 1994 in Kigali, Gisenyi, and Kibuye prefectures.

The Appeals Chamber affirmed Bagosora’s convictions for genocide, crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, persecution, rape, and other inhumane acts), and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II (violence to life and outrages upon personal dignity). However, it reversed Bagosora’s convictions for the killings of Augustin Maharangari, Alphonse Kabiligi, and the peacekeepers murdered before his visit to Camp Kigali, as well as for the killings in Gisenyi town, at Mudende University, and at Nyundo Parish. The Appeals Chamber also set aside the finding that Bagosora was responsible for ordering crimes committed at Kigali area roadblocks, but found him liable as a superior instead. In addition, the Appeals Chamber reversed a number of Bagosora’s convictions for murder as a crime against humanity and, Judge Pocar dissenting, for other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity for the defilement of Rwandan Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana’s corpse. The Appeals Chamber, Judges Pocar and Liu dissenting, considered that the reversal of some of Bagosora’s convictions called for a revision of his life sentence, and entered a new sentence of 35 years of imprisonment.

The Appeals Chamber reversed Nsengiyumva’s convictions for the killing of Alphonse Kabiligi, as well as for the killings at Mudende University, Nyundo Parish, and Bisesero. It also reversed Nsengiyumva’s convictions for murder as a crime against humanity. In addition, the Appeals Chamber set aside the finding that Nsengiyumva was responsible for ordering the killings in Gisenyi town on 7 April 1994, but, Judges Meron and Robinson dissenting, found him liable as a superior instead. It thus affirmed Nsengiyumva’s convictions for genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination and persecution), and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II (violence to life) in relation to the Gisenyi town killings. The Appeals Chamber considered that the reversal of nearly all of Nsengiyumva’s convictions called for a revision of his life sentence, and entered a new sentence of 15 years of imprisonment.  

At the time of the relevant events, Bagosora was directeur de cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence. Bagosora was arrested in Cameroon on 9 March 1996. He is to remain in the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania, pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence. He was defended by Counsel Raphael Constant (Martinique/France) and Allison Turner (Canada).

Nsengiyumva served as Commander of the Gisenyi Operational Sector. He was arrested in Cameroon on 27 March 1996. He was immediately released following the hearing today in light of time served. Counsel Kennedy Ogetto and Ottachi Bw’Omana from Kenya represented Nsengiyumva.

The Prosecution was initially led by Chile Eboe-Osuji but was transferred to Barbara Mulvaney whose team included Drew White, Christine Graham and Rashid Rashid.