Rwanda genocide tribunal convicts former minister in final trial

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Thursday convicted [judgment summary; press release] former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware [case materials], sentencing him to 35 years in prison and concluding the tribunal's final trial. Ngirabatware was found guilty on charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. ICTR Chief Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow issued a statement [text] following the judgment:

The delivery of judgement today in this case marks a historic occasion and important mile stone in the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). For today the Tribunal has completed the trial phase of its mandate. ... We hope that the ICTR has through the execution of its mandate made a difference: a difference in ensuring accountability for those who played a leading role in the tragedy of 1994 in Rwanda; in contributing to justice, reconciliation and respect for the rule of law in Rwanda in demonstrating the viability and effectiveness of the process of international legal accountability for international crimes; in providing through its extensive jurisprudence as well as from the lessons learnt from its operations the framework for a more effective system of international criminal justice.
Ngirabatware's trial began [JURIST report] in 2009. German authorities arrested Ngirabatware in 2007 and transferred [JURIST reports] him to the ICTR, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Ngirabatware had been a fugitive since 2001, when the ICTR issued a warrant for his arrest.

Despite the completion of its trial mandate, the ICTR still has numerous appeals pending. Last week the UN Security Council [official website] unanimously adopted a resolution [Resolution 2080 (2012) text] to extend the terms of five judges [JURIST report] at the tribunal. In July the ICTR transferred four genocide convicts to the Republic of Mali [JURIST report] to serve their sentences. A month earlier the tribunal transferred the case of Aloys Ndimbati [JURIST report], a former local government official in Rwanda who has been charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity including murder, rape and persecution, to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda. Earlier that month Bernard Munyagishari's case was the fifth to be transferred [JURIST report] to the country's court system.

 

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