Monday, October 3, 2011
On Friday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) convicted two former government ministers in Rwanda and sentenced each to 30 years in prison for their roles in the genocide that engulfed the small African nation in 1994.
The ICTR found Justin Mugenzi, who served as commerce minister, and Prosper Mugiraneza, a former minister of civil service, guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
The ICTR, acquitted two other former government ministers – Casimir Bizimungu and Jérôme-Clément Bicamumpaka – of similar charges and ordered their immediate release from jail.
The four ministers were part of an interim government that ran Rwanda in the wake of the death of then president Juvenal Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, an event which led to the start of the genocide.
During the trial, the ministers were accused of making incendiary speeches calling for the killing of Tutsis and participated in key government decisions involving the genocide.