Friday, December 16, 2011

ICTR Appeals Chamber Reduces Prison Sentence

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has reduced the jail sentence of a former local official who was convicted last year of his role in a notorious massacre in which thousands of ethnic Tutsi civilians died.

The ICTR Appeals Chamber ruled that Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, a former sub-prefect in Rwanda’s southern prefecture of Butare, will now serve 20 years in prison instead of 25 years.  The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber had erred when it convicted Mr. Ntawukulilyayo of ordering genocide for the killings at Kabuye hill on 23 April 1994, just weeks after the genocide began. But the five-member appeal panel upheld Mr. Ntawukulilyayo’s conviction for aiding and abetting genocide over the same incident.

During his trial, the court heard how Mr. Ntawukulilyayo instructed many Tutsi families who had gathered at Gisagara market over four days to move to nearby Kabuye hill, promising them they would be protected and fed.  But he later transported soldiers to the hill, and the soldiers joined with other assailants to attack the Tutsis, killing thousands.

(mew) (Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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