Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ICTR: Trial Chamber Judgment in the Case Against Bikindi

Yesterday, the ICTR Trial Chamber rendered its judgment in the case (No. ICTR-01-74) against Simon Bikindi, a famous singer and composer. Bikindi was charged with six counts, including conspiracy to commit genocide; genocide (or alternatively complicity in genocide); direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and crimes against humanity (murder and persecution). It was alleged that Bikindi, through his songs and speeches, incited genocide. It was also alleged that he participated in particular attacks and murders.

In its judgment (judgment here; summary here; press release here; Hirondelle News report here), the Trial Chamber convicted Bikindi only of direct and public incitement to commit genocide for statements he made toward the end of June 1994. He was not convicted for the pro-Hutu/anti-Tutsi songs he composed, as it was not proved that he was involved in their broadcast and distribution during the genocide. Bikindi was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment.