Thursday, December 18, 2008

ICTR: Trial Chamber Judgment in the Case Against Bagosora, Kabiligi, Ntabakuze, and Nsengiyumva

Today, the ICTR Trial Chamber rendered its judgment in the case (No. ICTR-98-41, a.k.a. the Military I trial) against Théoneste Bagosora, Gratien Kabiligi, Aloys Ntabakuze, and Anatole Nsengiyumva, all former senior Rwandan Army officers. Bagosora was the highest ranking official in the Ministry of Defense following the death of President Habyarimana, and has been called the mastermind of the genocide. The four were charged (here, here, and here) with multiple counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for acts that took place during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, including numerous massacres and the murder of a number of high ranking officials.

In its judgment (judgment not yet available online; summary here; press release here; New York Times story here; Crimes of War Project article here), the Trial Chamber convicted Bagosora, Ntabakuze and Nsengiyumva of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In particular, Bagosora was convicted for, among other things, "the killings of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, [President of the Constitutional Court] Joseph Kavaruganda, Frédéric Nzamurambaho, Landoald Ndasingwa, Faustin Rucogoza, Augustin Maharangari, [and] the 10 Belgian peacekeepers." The three were acquitted of conspiracy to commit genocide before April 7, 1994. Kabiligi was acquitted of all charges, and the Trial Chamber ordered him released. The three convicted were each sentenced to life imprisonment.