International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Chronology
Last Updated 26 September 2013
16 September 2013: The Secretary-General of the United Nations appoints Mandiaye Niang from Senegal as permanent judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) following the resignation of Senegalese Judge Andrésia Vaz earlier this year.
31 May 2013: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda upholds transfer of Bernard Munyagishari to Rwanda for trial.
7 May 2013: Oral arguments commence in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda concerning the Ndindiliyimana et al./Military II case. Oral arguments continue until 10 May 2013. The original verdict was rendered on 17 May 2011 and issued in writing on 20 June 2011. The notices of appeal of the five parties were filed between July 2011 and January 2012, the briefing was completed in May 2012.
6 May 2013 – Oral arguments commence in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda concerning the case against Grégoire Ndahimana.
10 April 2013: During a plenary session at The Hague, The Netherlands, Judge Vagn Joensen from Denmark is re-elected to continue his position as the President of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for a second term. His term will commence on 27 May 2013.
9 April 2013: The ICTR Appeals Chamber issues a scheduling order in the case of Gregoire Ndahimana. The appeal shall take place on May 6, 2013 in Tanzania at the ICTR.
8 April 2013: The ICTR Appeals Chamber schedules a status conference in the case of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, Sylvain Nsabimana, Alphonse Ntezirya Yo, Joseph Kanyabashi, and Elie Ndayambaje. The status conference is set for May 10, 2013 in Tanzania at the ICTR.
3 April 2013: Judges Theodor Meron, Liu Daqun, Carmel Agius, Khalida Rachid Khan, and Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov will hear the appeals case of Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Augustin Bizimungu, François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, and Innocent Sagahutu from May 7-10, 2013. The Trial Chamber found the defendants, former officers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), guilty of participating in the genocide.
26 February 2013: Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt visits the ICTR this week to discuss the court’s successes and its successor, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.
24 February 2013: Rwandan Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama announces that those acquitted by the ICTR and those that have served their sentences are welcome back in Rwanda. Furthermore, he announced during a visit to Rwanda of ICTR registrar Christopher Bongani Majora that those who cannot find host countries may also return to Rwanda.
4 February 2013: The Appeals Chamber dismissesd Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza’s appeals that alleged violations of their right to a fair trial. However, the Appeals Chamber reversed Mugenzi and Mugiraneza’s convictions for conspiracy to commit genocide because it found that the Trial Chamber made mistakes in assessing circumstantial evidence. The Trial Chamber had previously convicted Mugenzi and Mugiraneza for taking part in installing a new head of Butare Prefecture on 19 April 1994, which contributed to the genocide.
25 September 2012: The ICTR concludes negotiations with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) to monitor cases transferred by the Tribunal to Rwanda for trial. According to the agreement, ACHPR will submit regular status reports on the proceedings to the President of the ICTR, through the Registrar.
31 August 2012: The Appeals Chamber begins hearing arguments from the parties in the appeal of Bernard Munyagishari, who has been ordered transferred to Rwanda for trial.
7 August 2012: The United States US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, Stephen Rapp, announces that the US remains committed to helping track down the remaining nine fugitives indicted by the ICTR.
1 August 2012: The ICTR Prosecutor hands over files concerning the fugitive Félicien Kabuga to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. Kabuga was the President of the Comité Provisoire de la Défense Nationale. He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity.
1 August 2012: The ICTR Prosecutor hands over files concerning the fugitive Protais Mpriranya to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. Mpriranya was Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion within the High Command of the Rwandan Army. He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.
1 August 2012: The ICTR Prosecutor hands over files concerning the fugitive Augustin Bizimana to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. Bizimana was Minister of Defnese in the Interim Government in 1994. He is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of Common Article 3 to the Geneva Convention.
18 July 2012: The Secretary General of the United Nations appoints Adama Dieng of Senegal as his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide. Dieng is currently serving as the Registrar of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
3 July 2012: The ICTR transfers four convicts to serve their sentences in the Republic of Mali. There are 19 convicts currently serving their sentences in Mali.
2 July 2012: A ceremony is held to mark the launch of the Arusha Branch of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. This mechanism is mandated to carry out a number of essential functions of the ICTY and the ICTR after the completion of their mandates.
29 June 2012: The ICTR transfers four convicts to serve their sentence in the Republic of Benin. There are 14 convicts currently serving their sentences in Benin.
28 June 2012: The Referral Chamber transfers to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda the case of Pheneas Munyarugarama, who is still at large. Munyarugarama has been charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, as well as with murder, extermination, rape, and persecution as crimes against humanity. Munyarugarama was a Lieutenant Colonel and was the highest ranking military official at Gako camp.
25 June 2012: The Referral Chamber transfers to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda the case of Aloys Ndimbati, who is still at large. Ndimbati has been charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, as well as with murder, extermination, rape, and persecution as crimes against humanity.
20 June 2012: The Referral Chamber transfers to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda the case of Ryandikayo, who is still at large. Ryandikayo is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, as well as with murder, extermination, rape, and persecution as crimes against humanity. Ryandikayo was a businessman who owned and ran both a restaurant and a brick factory and was a member of the MDR political party.
19 June 2012: Trial Chamber III sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life imprisonment. Nizeyimana was found guilty of genocide, extermination and murder crimes against humanity, and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. Nizeyimana was a captain at the Butare military academy.
14 June 2012: The President of the ICTR issues a statement of concern over the detention of staff members of the International Criminal Court in Libya. He urged for the immediate release of the member and said that he was ready to assist in any way that may be requested to help ensure the safe return of the staff members.
7 June 2012: The Referral Chamber transfers to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda the case of Bernard Munyagishari. Munyagishari is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, and murder and rape as crimes against humanity. If the transfer is affirmed by the Appeals Chamber then Munyagishari will be the second accused person transferred to Rwanda for trial.
1 June 2012: The President of the ICTR assigns Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov to the Appeals Chamber. The assignment takes effect on the 29 June 2012.
31 May 2012: Trial Chamber III delivers the judgment in the case of Callixte Nzabonimana. Nzabonimana was convicted of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to life in prison. Nzabonimana was the former Rwanda Minister of Youth and Associate Movements.
28 May 2012: The launching ceremony for the Video-Tele Conference facilities is held in the Main Court Room of the Rwanda Supreme Court. The facility will allow a sitting chamber to hear evidence in real-time from witnesses located inside and outside of Rwanda. The system will be funded by Germany.
24 May 2012: The Prosecutor of the ICTR hands over material supporting the indictment against Ladislas Ntagazwa and other relevant evidence to the Deputy Prosecutor General of Rwanda’s National Prosecution Authority.
9 May 2012: The Referral Chamber transfers to the authorities of Rwanda the case of Ladislas Ntaganzwa, who is still at large. Ntaganzwa has been charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions.
8 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber delivers its judgment on the appeal by Gaspard Kanyarukiga, affirming the conviction and sentence of 30 years in prison. Trial Chamber II convicted Kanyarukiga of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity based on his participation in the planning of the destruction of the Nyange church, which resulted in the death of approximately 2,000 Tutsi civilians. The Appeals Chamber dismissed Kanyarukiga’s appeal in its entirety.
8 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber delivers its judgment on the appeal by Ildephonse Hategekimana, affirming the conviction and the sentence of life in prison. Trial Chamber II convicted Hategekimana of committing genocide, of murder as a crime against humanity for ordering abduction and killings, and a superior of rape as a crime against humanity. Hategekimana’s appeal was dismissed.
8 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber delivers its judgment on the appeal by Aloys Ntabakuze, reversing some of his convictions and reducing his life sentence to 35 years in prison. Ntabakuze was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions by Trial Chamber I. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the conviction for genocide, extermination and persecutions as crimes against humanity, and the violations to Article 3 of the Geneva Convention but reversed the conviction of preventing refugees killed at Nyanza hill from seeking sanctuary. The conviction for murder as a crime against humanity was also reversed and the finding that Ntabakuze was responsible for the commission of crime by militiamen was set aside.
7 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments in the appeals of Jean-Baptiste Gatete from the judgment rendered by Trial Chamber III of the Tribunal on 29 March 2011. Gatete was convicted of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity and sentenced to a single term of life imprisonment for planning, instigating, ordering, aiding and abetting the killing of Tutsis in Rwankuba. Gatete contended that Trial Chamber III committed several errors of law and fact and that he should be acquitted on all accounts or his sentence be reduced.
7 May 2012: The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals presides over the swearing in of the judges who have been elected to the International Residual Mechanism. The ceremony was conducted in Arusha, where the first branch of the International Residual Mechanism will be opening in less than two months.
19 April 2012: The Appeals Chamber of the ICTR dismisses a motion filed by Jean Uwinkindi for a stay of his transfer to Rwanda for prosecution. The Appeals Chamber said that there was no basis for staying Mr. Uwinkindi’s transfer because the Tribunal would be monitoring the trial.
17 April 2012: Jean Uwinkindi files a motion requesting a stay of his transfer to Rwanda, claiming that he will not receive a fair trial. Uwinkindi argues that there was no respect for the right to a fair trial in Victoire Ingabire’s trial.10 April 2012: The President of the ICTR directs the ICTR Registrar to immediately resume negotiations with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to create an agreement on the monitoring of the trial of Jean Uwinkindi in Rwanda. The Registrar was also directed to appoint legal staff who will act as interim monitors upon the transfer of Jean Uwinkindi to Rwanda.
9 April 2012: The ICTR closes the hearing of prosecution witnesses in the trial case of former Minister of Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware. Ngirabatware is charged with genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; complicity in genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and the crimes against humanity of murder, extermination, and rape. A witness being held secretly for personal security is still waiting for authorization from the Nigerian government to travel to ICTR’s headquarters.
29 March 2012: The ICTR case regarding Augustin Ngirabatware rules on the defense motion for reconsideration of the decision on admission of documentary evidence.
26 March 2012: A Referral Chamber of the ICTR orders the case of Charles Sikubwabo to be referred to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda, transferring him to the High Court of Rwanda for an expeditious trial.
23 March 2012: About three-dozen officials of the Senior Management of the ICTR, led by the President, the Prosecutor and the Registrar, hold a three-day retreat at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. The purpose of the retreat is to come up with a concrete action plan to successfully implement the completion strategy of the Tribunal. The goal is to close ICTR by the end of 2014.
22 March 2012: The ICTR case regarding Fulgence Kayishema, a former Judicial Police Inspector who is yet to be arrested, is transferred to Rwandan Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, for Kayishema to be tried in the High Court of Rwanda.
21 March 2012: A delegation of the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) concludes a three-day official visit to the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. The talks centered on the cooperation between the ICTR and the 15 Member States ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.
13 March 2012: The Appeals Chamber of the ICTR orders that a public hearing will be held in Arusha, Tanzania on 8 May 2012 to deliver the Appeals Judgment of the case involving Gaspard Kanyarukiga. Kanyarukiga was convicted by the Trial Chamber on 1 November 2010 of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment.
13 March 2012: The Prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, lodges a notice of appeal against the judgment of the Tribunal for not convicting Matthieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera of the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide. The Trial Chamber had dismissed the conspiracy to commit genocide charge, reasoning that the criminality was accounted for by a conviction of genocide and further conviction of conspiracy would be duplicative and unfair.
9 March 2012: The United Nations Security Council votes to retain the archives of the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania.
7 March 2012: Trial Chamber III of the ICTR orders a hearing on referral of the case of Bernard Munyagishari, a former commander of the Interahamwe, to be held on 12 April 2012, with a time-table to follow. The parties are to expand on issues arising from their respective briefs and to answer questions from the Chamber.
6 March 2012: The ICTR orders the release of Tharcisse Muvunyi from the UN Detention facility in Arusha with immediate effect. ICTR President Judge Vagn Joensen signed the decision, deciding that early release was now appropriate since more than three-fourths of Muvunyi’s sentence had been served. Muvunyi served more than twelve years of his fifteen year sentence.
5 March 2012: The ICTR denies the Defense Motion for Leave to Postpone the Hearing of Rebuttal Evidence in the case of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, and directs the Prosecution rebuttal witnesses to commence their testimony as previously scheduled.
1 March 2012: Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow of Gambia, Prosecutor of the ICTR, is appointed Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (the Mechanism). Mr. Jallow will continue serving as Prosecutor of the ICTR. The Mechanism was established by UN Security Council resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out a number of essential functions of the ICTR and ICTY after the closure of the Tribunals.
28 February 2012: Announcement that as of July 2012, the ICTR’s main body is closing and will no longer hear any cases except for appeals, which are to be completed by 2014.
24 February 2012: Judge Khalida Rashid Khan, President of the ICTR, orders the transfer of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi, the first detainee transfer to Rwanda, to be stayed, pending the establishment of a suitable monitoring mechanism for his trial. Judge Khan’s order gives the Registrar until March 16, 2012 to hold discussions and negotiations and file submissions detailing “the steps that have been undertaken to secure monitoring and provide details of the proposed options for monitoring.”
23 February 2012: The ICTR dismisses a prosecution request to examine former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware’s passports, as part of its motion to contest his deference of alibi. The Trial Chamber threw out the request, saying the prosecution has not provided enough information on the identity and qualifications of the proposed expert.
22 February 2012: The ICTR rules that if Fulgence Kayishema is arrested, he should be returned to Rwanda to face trial. Kayishema is the former head of the judicial police in Kibuye. The court order came after the Prosecution convinced the tribunal that the fugitive would get a fair trial since Rwanda has made the presumption of innocence part of its statutory law, and that the accused would be detained in conditions that comply with required international standards.
20 February 2012: Canadian lawyer, Mylene Dimitri, is assigned as the new lead counsel for former Rwandan Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware. Dimitri was co-counselor for Ngirabatware and will be the third lead counsel for him.
16 February 2012: Rwanda’s high court creates a Special Chamber that will hear international cases, including genocide cases and cases from the ICTR. The Special Chamber will have six judges and is expected to put Léon Mugesera on trial, who is suspected of giving a speech in 1992 that incited Hutus to kill Tutsis.
15 February 2012: Judge Vagn Joensen is elected the new president of the ICTR and will assume duties on 2 March 2012. Previously, Joensen was Vice President and Chairperson for the Tribunal’s Rules Committee. Florence Rita Arrey of Cameroon will take Joensen’s place as Vice President.
13 February 2012: The Prosecution supports an application by Ibuka and Survivors Fund to be heard at the appeal hearing for Rwandan Armed Forces Chief of Staff Augustin Bizimungu and that of the Gendarmerie Chief of Staff Augustin Ndindiliyimana. The applications claim that the sentences handed down against the convicted men were not harsh enough to serve the purposes of retribution and deterrence.
9 February 2012: ICTR grants early release for former Rwandan mayor Juvenal Rugambarara who has served over three-quarters of his eleven year sentence for extermination as a crime against humanity. The fact that Rugambarara pleaded guilty and expressed remorse influenced the decision.
2 February 2012: Edouard Karemera and Matthieu Ngirumpatse are found guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, genocide, crimes against humanity (rape), crimes against humanity (extermination), serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions, and additional protocol II (killing and causing death to body and well-being) and are each sentenced to life imprisonment.
30 January 2012: Defense hearing resumes for former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, who is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and extermination and rape as crimes against humanity.
21 January 2012: The ICTR is looking for refuge for five people who were acquitted during trial. The acquitted individuals are currently staying in a safe house, which is a burden for ICTR. However, the ICTR cannot find countries willing to take them.
19 January 2012: John Hocking, former Senior Legal Officer of the ICTR, is appointed Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals by the UN. The Residual Mechanism was established by Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out a number of essential functions of the ICTY and ICTR after their closure.
16 January 2012: Jean Uwinkindi is being transferred to Rwanda to stand trial in a court in Kigali. He is the first person to be sent to Rwanda, and the ICTR believes that that he will have a fair trial (whereas the court previously believed Rwanda did not have the capacity to conduct a fair trial).
14 December 2011: The Appeals Chamber affirms the conviction for aiding and abetting genocide of Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, but it reverses his conviction for ordering genocide. The Appeals Chamber accordingly reduces Ntawukulilyayo’s sentence from 25 to 20 years of imprisonment.
14 December 2011: In the case of Bagosora et al, the Appeals Chamber both affirms and reverses a number of the convictions for Theoneste Bagosora and Anatole Nsengiyumva. The Appeals Chamber reduces both sentences of life imprisonment: Bagosora’s sentence is reduced to 35 years, and Nsengiyumva’s sentence is reduced to 15 years.
25 November 2011: The ICTR denies Augustin Ngirabatware’s motion for reconsideration or certification to appeal the Trial Chamber’s decision on 22 September 2011, where the court denied the defense’s motion to declare certain written documents admissible. At the time of the genocide, Ngirabatware was serving Rwandan's Minister of Planning in the government of Juvénal Habyarimana, and was a member of the Gisenyi provincial committee for the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) party.
15 November 2011: The ICTR Appeals Chamber issues a scheduling order that the Appeals Chamber Judgment in the case of the Bagosora and Nsengiyumva v. the Prosecutor will be delivered on Wednesday, 14 December 2011.
10 November 2011: The ICTR Appeals Chamber issues a scheduling order that the Appeals Chamber Judgment in the case of the Prosecutor v. Ntawukulilyayo will be delivered on Wednesday, 14 December 2011. The judgment will be broadcast live via satellite.
19 October 2011: The ICTR Trial Chamber issues a scheduling order that the Trial Chamber Judgment in the case of the Prosecutor v. Ndahimana will be delivered on Thursday, 17 November 2011.
24 October 2011: For the first time, the ICTR grants early release to one of its convicts, Michel Bagaragaza, who has served three-quarters of an eight year sentence for complicity to commit genocide. ICTR president Judge Khalida Rachid Khan granted the request of the former head of the Rwandan Tea Authority to be released on 1 December 2011 from the prison in Sweden where he is currently being held. In her decision, Judge Khan cited to jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia permitting release after three-quarters of a sentence served, the that Bagaragaza confessed to his crimes and expressed remorse, and reports from Swedish prison authorities regarding Bagaragaza’s good behavior.
24 October 2011: The ICTR commences in camera proceedings to preserve evidence in the case of one of its most wanted genocide suspects, Major Protais Mpiranya. Mpiranya, former Commander of Presidential Guard, is accused of participating in the planning, preparation and execution of Rwandan 1994 genocide, as well as responsibility for the murders of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and ten Belgian UN peacekeeping soldiers. The hearings are intended to preserve evidence in the event Mpiranya is caught and tried in the future. A defense lawyer assigned by the ICTR Registry will cross-examine witnesses and otherwise represent defense interests.
30 September 2011: Trial Chamber II issues its judgment in the “Government II” trial, which involved charges against members of the Rwandan government during the 1994 genocide. Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza were convicted for conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. They were each sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment. Casimir Bizimungu and Jérôme-Clément Bicamumpaka were acquitted, and the Trial Chamber ordered their immediate release.
29 September 2011: The Appeals Chamber affirms the convictions and sentences handed down by the Trial Chamber in the Setako and Munyakazi cases. Each was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.
26 September 2011: The Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments by Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, who was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison on 3 August 2010. Ntawukuliyayo was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide based on his role in the killing of Tutsi civilians at Kabuye Hill in the Butare prefecture in April of 1994. In his appeal he claimed that the trial court committed a number of errors in law and fact. He is asking the Appeal Chamber to reverse the trial court judgment, enter an acquittal, order his release, or reduce his sentence.
23 September 2011: Closing arguments are heard in the case of Gregoire Ndahimana. The prosecution asked for his conviction and life imprisonment, while the defense asked for dismissal of the case and an acquittal. The prosecution has charged the accused with genocide and the crime against humanity of extermination based on his role in the massacre of Tutsis at Nyange Church in April 1994. The defense argued that Ndahimana had an alibi proving that he was not present at the massacre, that the prosecution witnesses were not credible, and that Ndahimana took all actions possible to prevent the crimes. The Trial Chamber announced that a judgment would be delivered at the end of the year.
15 September 2011: The President of the ICTR assigns Judge Arlette Ramaroson, from Madagascar, to the Appeals Chamber, effective 22 September 2011.
5 September 2011: Trial Chamber II of the ICTR announces that it will deliver its judgment against Casimir Bizimungu, et al. on 30 September 2011.
5 September 2011: The Appeals Chamber announces that it will issue its judgment in the case against Ephrem Setako on 28 September 2011.
2 September 2011: In the case against Augustin Ngirabatware, the Trial Chamber issues a decision denying the defense’s request to stay an order requiring that the Defense submit its final witness list by 5 September.
1 September 2011: The Office of the Prosecutor files a Notice of Appeal in the Nyiramasuhuko, et al. case, also known as the “Butare Trial,” challenging the Trial Chamber’s acquittal of Joseph Kanyabashi on one of the Prosecutor’s alleged counts of genocide. The Prosecutor’s office will not be appealing any other aspect of the Trial Chamber’s judgment. The six persons convicted in the case have until 17 October 2011 to file Notices of Appeal.
14 July 2011: The ICTR commences a month-long judicial recess, meaning no hearings will be held until 15 August 2011.
13 July 2011: Thirty-one of the thirty-six detainees being held at the United Nations Detention Facility in Tanzania announce their intention to commence a hunger strike in support of their fellow inmate, Jean Uwinkindi, who is protesting a decision made by the ICTR to transfer his case to Rwanda. Uwikindi, who has appealed the decision, has also said he will engage in a hunger strike.
6 July 2011: The United Nations Security Council issues a resolution reiterating previous calls on all states, particularly those in the Great Lakes Region, to increase their efforts to arrest the nine remaining ICTR fugitives, including Felicien Kabuga, the alleged financier of the 1994 genocide.
28 June 2011: Acting pursuant to Rule 11bis of the ICTR’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence, a Referral Chamber of the Tribunal issues a decision referring the case of Jean Uwinkindi to Rwanda for domestic prosecution. This marks the first time that the ICTR will transfer a case to Rwanda; earlier requests by the ICTR Prosecutor to transfer cases had been denied due to concerns on the part of the Tribunal that Rwanda could not guarantee the accused’s fair trial rights.
24 June 2011: Trial Chamber II issues its judgment in the case of The Prosecutor v. Nyiramasuhuko et al., also known as the “Butare Trial.” Each of the six accused were convicted on one or more counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and their sentences range from twenty-five years to life imprisonment. The trial, which commenced in June 2001, involved charges against Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the former Minister of Women’s Development; her son, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, a student in 1994; Sylvain Nsabimana, Préfet of Butare from 19 April until 17 June 1994; Alphonse Nteziryayo, a lieutenant colonel in the armed forces who was appointed Préfet of Butare on 17 June 1994; Joseph Kanyabashi, the long-serving Bourgmestre of Ngoma commune from 1974 through July 1994; and Élie Ndayambaje, a former Bourgmestre of Muganza commune who was reappointed to his post as Bourgmestre on 18 June 1994.
20 June 2011: Bernard Munyagishari, former President of the Interahamwe for Gisenyi, makes his initial appearance in front of the acting president of the ICTR, Judge Byron. Munyagishari entered a plea of not guilty on all charges against him, which include genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and the crimes against humanity of murder and rape.
14 June 2011: Bernard Munyagishari, former President of the Interahamwe for Gisenyi, is transferred to the custody of the ICTR. Munyagishari, who is charged with genocide and the crimes against humanity of murder and rape, was arrested on 25 May 2011 in the Democtratic Republic of Congo.
25 May 2011: Pakistan Judge Khalida Rachid Khan is elected President of the ICTR for a period of two years effective from May 27, 2011. Judge Khan replaces Judge Dennis Byron from St. Kitts and Nevis, whose term of office expires on 26 May 2011.
25 May 2011: Bernard Munyagishari, one of ten ICTR fugitives still at large, is arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Munyagishari, allegedly the leader of the Interahamwe for Gisenyi, is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He was arrested pursuant to an international warrant issued on 8 September 2005.
23 May 2011: The President of the ICTR announces the assignment of four judges of the Trial Division to the Appeals Division: Pakistan Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, William Sekule from Tanzania, Judge Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Russian’s Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov. The assignments will take effect from the date on which the judges’ respective cases end.
21 April 2011: The Appeals Chamber sanctions American lawyer, Peter Erlinder, lead defense counsel for Major Aloys Ntabakuze, and ordered his replacement for failure to appear before the Tribunal to defend his client. The Chamber explained that sanctions were warranted due to Erlinder’s failure to appear before the Tribunal and failure to provide the Chamber with timely warning of his inability to appear.
20 April 2011: The Chamber presiding over the case against former Rwandan Mayor Grégoire Ndahimana adjourns proceedings until 3 May 2011. The Presiding Judge also reminded the defense that it is to close its case by 13 May 2011.
18 April 2011: The Appeals Chamber dismisses the appeal by former Rwandan Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware, challenging the ICTR Bureau’s decision denying his motion for disqualification of the judges on the Trial Chamber presiding over his case. The Appeals Chamber based its dismissal on the fact that the ICTR’s Rules do not contemplate interlocutory appeal of decisions issued by the Bureau.
12 April 2011: The Trial Chamber presiding over the “Military II” trial issues a decision admitting into evidence twelve exculpatory statements that tend to suggest the innocence of, or mitigate the guilt of, ex-Rwandan Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, even though the Chamber is set to deliver its judgment in the case shortly.
11 April 2011: Defense lawyers for Nzabonimana request that the United Nations set up an independent body to investigate an alleged disbursement of funds to the Rwandan authorities for "treatment" of prosecution witnesses in their client’s case. Their report includes documents showing large payments to Adamou Allagouma, prosecutor investigator at the ICTR, for “treatment” of witnesses who testified in the defendant’s trial. The payments made to Allagouma were several hundred times greater than the average Rwandan daily salary in 1998. After being dropped by the prosecution, one of the witnesses who allegedly received payment, Jean-Marie Vianney Mporanzi, testified for the defense that he was paid last May after being interrogated by ICTR investigators. The tribunal has denied defense’s motion to have Allagouma and other individuals summoned to testify on the documents.
7 April 2011: In honor of the seventeenth anniversary of the genocide, Rwanda sets up its first large exhibition on the history of the massacres in Kigali stadium. The exhibit displays pictures and stories of Tutsi victims as well as a tribute to a few Hutus that risked their own lives to save others during the massacre. The end of the exhibition features a documentary encouraging hope in Rwanda’s future. The exhibition will open at the end of the month. On a similar note, the Rwandan community in Arusha, the seat of the ICTR, organized a solidarity walk to commemorate the seventeenth anniversary of the genocide.
7 April 2011: With the exception of the hearing of two French witnesses, former Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana’s defense case officially closes. Nzabonimana is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and the crimes against humanity of extermination and murder. The trial is set to resume on May 3 with prosecution’s presentation of its witnesses.
1 April 2011: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda upholds the conviction and sentence of Tharcisse Muvunyi, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces. Muvunyi was convicted in February 2010 of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment. The charges were based on evidence that Muvunyi made statements at a public meeting in furtherance of the objectives of the genocide.
1 April 2011: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda hears oral arguments in the appeal proceedings of Theoneste Bagosora and Anatole Nsengiyuma, following their convictions in February 2009 of genocide, crimes against humanity, and of serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Convictions and of Additional Protocol II. The charges stemmed from crimes committed throughout the course of the genocide in Kigali, Gisenyi, and Kibuye prefectures. At that time, Bagosora was directeur de cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defense, and Nsengiyuma was serving as Commander of the Gisenyi Operational Sector. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment.
1 April 2011: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal reverses two of Tharcisse Renzaho’s convictions, yet affirms his sentence of life imprisonment for the remaining convictions, which were based on his involvement for certain specific events. Renzaho was initially found guilty in June 2009 of genocide, murder and rape as crimes against humanity, and murder and rape as serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Convictions and of Additional Protocol II. At the time of the events which led to his conviction, Renzaho was Prefect of Kigali-Ville prefecture—the highest authority in the region—and had attained the rank of Colonel in the Rwandan army.
31 March 2011: Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, visits proceedings at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The High Commissioner commended the work and achievements thus far of the ICTR, and explained that the fairness and effectiveness of proceedings at the Tribunal have—along with similar tribunals elsewhere— contributed to ending a broader culture of impunity for violations of human rights and other international crimes.
30 March 2011: The Minister for Disaster preparedness and Refugee Affairs, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, travels to Arusha to testify in cases related to genocide suspects and convicts, including Theoneste Bagosora. He was invited by the ICTR and will testify on behalf of the Trial Chamber.
29 March 2011: The Appeals Chamber hears from the parties on appeal in the case against former senior Rwandan military officer Lieutenant Colonel Ephrem Setako, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail for genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity and violence to life as a war crime in February 2010. The prosecution sought a maximum life imprisonment. The former Army officer, who was the head of the division of legal affairs in the Ministry of Defense during the 1994 genocide, was found to bear superior responsibility for the killing of 30 to 40 Tutsis at Mukamira military camp in Ruhengeri prefecture, Northern Rwandaon 25 April 1994 and the death of around 10 others on May 1. The defense claimed that Setako had had no control over his soldiers, and that the prosecution had only used two witnesses with conflicting testimony to convict.
29 March 2011: The defense for former Rwandan Minister of Youth Callixte Nzabonimana accuses the prosecution of colluding with the Rwandan authorities to lure witnesses to testify against the defendant. He accuses the prosecution of paying people for handling witnesses and for paying witnesses after their testimony. The prosecution claims that the money was only used to feed and house the witnesses.
29 March 2011: The ICTR delivers a life sentence for the former Rwandan Director in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Gatete. He was convicted of genocide and the crime against humanity of extermination. In delivering the sentence, Judge Khan stated: “The large-scale killings, and the disposal of bodies, were carried out in a highly efficient manner. In sum, the Chamber finds that the conduct of those involved was concerted and coordinated for the purposes of killing Tutsis. This level of coordination could only have been achieved through prior agreement and planning among those involved.” A life sentence is the heaviest sentence the ICTR can hand down.
28 March 2011: The Appeals Chamber hears the parties on appeal in the case against the oldest genocide-convict at the ICTR, former Rwandan businessman, Yussuf Munyakazi (76), who was sentenced in 2010 to 25 years imprisonment for killings against approximately 5,000 Tutsis who took refuge at Shangi parish and another group of Tutsis housed at Mibilizi church in Cyangugu prefecture, South-West Rwanda on 29-30 April 1994. The prosecution sought a life sentence, rather than 25 years. The defense claimed that Munyakazi was a “simple farmer” and not a leader of genocide.
24 March 2011: The court will conduct a “special deposition” to preserve evidence against three accused persons who are still at large, under rule 71 bis. The court claims that this is not “trial in absentia” because “the single Judge presiding over these proceedings will not have the powers to enter a verdict of guilt or innocence, and cannot make decisions regarding the admissibility or the weight of the deposition evidence.” This will allow future judges to assess the relevance and probative value of the preserved evidence. One of the accused is Félicien Kabuga, accused of being the main financier of the 1994 Tutsi genocide. He has reportedly been carrying out prosperous business in Kenya. The two other accused targeted for preservation of prosecution evidence are former Minister for Defence Augustin Bizimana, who is said to be hiding in the DRC, and former Commander of the Presidential Guard Major Protais Mpiranya, who may be hiding in Zimbabwe.
23 March 2011: The lead-defense counsel for Major Aloys Ntabakuze (convicted of genocide), Peter Erlinder, is reportedly fearful of travel to Tanzania for the appeal hearing due to threats on his life. He has sought permission to participate in the hearing by video-conference. The court ruled that Erlinder failed to show that the need for a video-conference was warranted.
15 March 2011: The ICTR announces that it will deliver judgment in a joint trial of four senior Rwandan military officers on 17 May. These four officers include two former Chiefs of Staff of the Army, and two ex commanders of the reconnaissance battalion. They have been charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. They have denied the charges.
10 March 2011: The ICTR is compelled to adjourn case of genocide-accused and former Rwandan Minister of Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana to 21 March, after running short of witnesses. The defense has called 34 witnesses thus far. Nzabonimana is facing charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder, all of which he denies. The prosecution among others alleged that the accused played an important role in the massacres of Tutsis in his native prefecture of Gitarama, central Rwanda. He was allegedly an active member of the then ruling party, MRND, at his prefecture and the national level.
9 March 2011: The ICTR allows the prosecution to call a witness to rebut the defence of alibi of former Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana, who has claimed that he was at the French Embassy in Kigali between 7 and 11 April 1994. By calling Witness CNR1, the prosecution wants to show that Nzaboniman’s presence at the French Embassy from 7 and 11 April 1994 did not preclude him from having been in Gitarama (Central Rwanda) at any time of the day.
9 March 2011: Wikileaks releases American cables saying a few top government officials of Kenya are hiding Felicien Kabuga. The US has placed a $5 million bounty on Mr. Kabuga, who has been on the run since 1995. The Kenyan government has continuously denied hosting Mr. Kabuga.
25 February 2011: The defense resumes its case in the trial of genocide-accused and former Rwandan Minister of Youth Callixte Nzabonimana, charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination, and murder. Specifically, the prosecution has alleged that the defendant played a significant role in the massacres of Tutsi civilians in his native Gitarama prefecture, where he was allegedly an active member of MRND, the then-ruling party of Rwanda. Counsel for the defendant project that they will present ten witnesses during the session, which is expected to conclude on April 6. Nzabonimana has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
25 February 2011: The prosecution rests its case in the trial of genocide-accused and former Rwandan military Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana after presenting a total of thirty-eight witnesses. The prosecution began its case against Nizeyimana on January 17, 2011, after filing charges of genocide, extermination, murder, and rape. Since that time, several witnesses have presented evidence that the defendant ordered, supervised, and orchestrated massacres of Tutsi civilians in Butare, including the murder of Queen Rosalie Gicanda in late April 1994. The trial was adjourned until May 9, 2011, when the defense will commence its case.
23 February 2011: The prosecution continues its case against genocide-accused and former Rwandana military Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana by presenting testimony of a witness he allegedly ordered shot dead around the end of April 1994 in Butare prefecture. The witness and his friend were stopped at a roadblock and labeled “Inkontanyi” by the defendant, who ordered soldiers to kill them in a nearby forest. The witness survived despite three gunshot wounds and fled into hiding. Defendant Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder, and rape. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
23 February 2011: A witness testifies on behalf of the defense in the trial of Grégoire Ndahimana, former mayor of Kivumu commune, claiming that the defendant was himself forced to hide from execution squads during the genocide. Ndahimana has been trying to prove during the course of proceedings that, by the time the crimes occurred for which he is charged, he had already lost his authority as mayor and that Kivumu was under total control of Interahamwe. While the witness admitted that the defendant officially retained his post as mayor up until he fled in July 1994, she added that in reality he had long since lost control of events in his jurisdiction. Defendant Ndahimana is standing trial for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, in particular for allegedly ordering a massacre on 16 April 1994 at Nyange Parish, where 2,000 Tutsi civilians were killed.
21 February 2011: A witness, code named “ND 24,” testifies in defense of former Kivumu mayor Ndahimana, claiming Ndahimana was not present during the massacre of 2,000 Tutsi on 16 April 1994 at the Nyange Parish. Ndahimana is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. The witness also testified Ndahimana was unable to dismantle roadblocks because of orders given by the Inspector of Police Fulgence Kayishema. Kayishema is charged by the ICTR with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and extermination (crimes against humanity). He is still on the run.
18 February 2011: The referral bench of the ICTR grants leave to the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association (ICDAA) to file a friend of court brief in relation to the application for referral to the ICTR for a trial involving genocide suspect Pastor Jean Uwinkindi. The court has asked the ICDAA to file its brief by 11 March 2011. In the Uwinkindi case, the referral bench has asked the Rwandan government to answer nine question concerning whether the accused would receive a fair trial.
18 February 2011: Augustin Ngirabatware and Matthieu Ngirumpatse, two genocide suspects, complete giving their testimonies in their respective trials before the ICTR. The hearing of Ngirabatware, former Rwandan Planning Minister, was then adjourned indefinitely. The proceedings in the case of Ngirumpatse, the president of MRND, were postponed while the Trial Chamber traveled to Rwanda for a site visit.
17 February 2011: The genocide survivors’ organization, Ibuka, releases a list of 265 Hutu individuals honoring their role in protecting Tutsi victims during the 1994 Genocide. The investigation found that the less educated people were, the more they participated in rescuing Tutsis. About 74 percent of the 265 honored were ordinary peasants.
17 February 2011: A Search Committee operating from New York is mandated to facilitate the nomination and election of Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s successor as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. In January, the African Union chose its candidate Chile Eboe-Osuji, a Canadian-Nigerian citizen and employee of the ICTR since 1997. Moreno-Ocampo’s term expires in June 2012 and his successor is to be elected in December 2011. After receiving expressions of interests over the next few months, the Committee will produce a short-list of at least three suitable candidates. Several NGOs have expressed their wish to see an African woman as the next ICC Prosecutor.15 February 2011: The Prosecution in the trial of Ngirumpatse and Karemera, two leading members of the MRND, requests that the deadline for the submission of its final brief be postponed for a month. Ngirumpatse and Karemera are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. They allegedly conspired with other top civil and military officials to perpetrate the 1994 genocide.
14 February 2011: The Appeals Chamber issues a ruling holding that Théoneste Bagosora will be heard on appeal on 1 April.
10 February 2011: The Appeals Chamber orders a subpoena of Rwandan Minister for Natural Disaster and Refugee Affairs, General Marcel Gatsinzi, to testify in the case of genocide-convict Colonel Théoneste Bagosora. The Trial Chamber allegedly violated his right to a fair trial by failing to enforce a subpoena for Gatsinzi’s testimony on Bagosora’s alleged superior responsibility between 6 and 9 April 1994. The court is now adjudicating this claim.
9 February 2011: The Rwandan National Public Prosecution Authority accuses colonel Patrick Karegeya, a former member of President Kagame’s entourage, of having played a role in fraudulently conveying certain frozen assets of alleged genocidaire Felicien Kabuga to Kabuga’s children.
26 December 2010: The UN sets up International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunal (IRMCT) to conclude the remaining tasks of the ICTR to maintain its respective legacies. The IRMCT will begin its operations on 1 July 2012. It is expected to handle all business that may arise after the closure of the ICTR.
23 December 2010: French judge charges FDLR (Secretary General of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda ) leader, Callixte Mbarushimana, for his role in the 1994 genocide. He had been living in France as a political refugee since 2002.
17 December 2010: The Dutch Police conduct a search in Ingabire’s houses in the village of Zevenhuizen, taking several items including computers and documents. Because of the international elements of Ingabire’s alleged crimes, countries such as the Netherlands, the United States, Burundi, Belgium, and Switzerland have been asked to provide information regarding her alleged criminal activities.
17 December 2010: In a unanimous resolution, the United Nations Security Council has called upon relevant bodies in the UN to provide the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with more staff, so that it implement its completion strategy and fulfill its mandate in a timely fashion. In a presentation before the Security Council, Judge Dennis Byron, President of the ICTR, had earlier warned that departures among the Tribunal’s most experienced staff would further delay the delivery of judgments.
17 December 2010: The Tribunal carries out its last hearing of the year, in the case of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware. The son-in-law of accused genocide financier and fugitive Félicien Kabuga, Ngirabatware stands accused on instigating massacres of Tutsi in his home commune of Nyamyumba, former Gisenyi prefecture. Trials will resume, starting with former MRND officials Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Edouare Karemera, on 10 January 2011.
16 December 2010: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has failed to meet its goals set for the year ending in December 2010. One year earlier, in December 2009, Judge Dennis Byron (ICTR President) had presented a report on the Tribunal’s completion strategy before the United Nations Security Council, promising that the drafting of judgments for the cases would be completed by the conclusion of 2010. Judgments are yet to be delivered in trials involving fourteen defendants. Judge Byron anticipates those judgments in the first half of 2011.
14 December 2010: Chief Prosecutor at the ICTR accuses the Zimbabwean government of protecting Potrais Mpiranya, who was the commander of the Rwandan Presidential Guard. He is being accused of leading the genocide. The United States has put a $5 million bounty on him.
9 December 2010: A study by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission finds that 93% of Rwandans think the Gacaca courts are very influential in delivering justice and facilitating the successful reconciliation of Rwandans. Rwandans believe that the Gacaca courts are revealing the truth about the genocide.
8 December 2010: Prosecutor Hassan Jallow urges Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other neighboring states to intensify their cooperation in tracking and apprehending the Tribunal’s ten remaining fugitives. According to the Tribunal’s own investigative sources, all ten are in the region. Among the fugitives are top priority Félicien Kabuga, accused of bankrolling the genocide; Major Protais Mpiranya, commander of the Rwandan Presidential Guard during the genocide; and Augustin Bizimana, former Minister of Defense.
7 December 2010: Wikileaks publishes confidential diplomatic cables confirming that Bruguière, a retired French judge from the ICTR conferred with the French government about the timing of his issuance of arrest warrants against nine former senior officials in the Rwanda Patriotic Army. The indictments were issued in November 2006. The indictments were denounced by the international community and Rwanda severed diplomatic relations with France after they were issued. Rwanda and France have since restored diplomatic relations.
7 December 2010: Judge Dennis Byron, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, calls upon the international community to provide urgent assistance in relocating those who have been acquitted by the Tribunal during the course of its proceedings. Three acquitted persons have still not been resettled and remain in safe houses in Arusha, one of whom was acquitted four years ago. Speaking before the UN Security Council, Judge Byron urged that “if this problem is not dealt with in a comprehensive, long-term approach, the interests of justice and the rule of law will not be served.”
6 December 2010: A Trial Chamber sentences former Rwandan military officer, Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of genocide, and murder and rape as crimes against humanity. Hategekimana was convicted of ordering the massacre of Tutsi refugees who had sought refuge at Ngoma church in Butare prefecture. Defense counsel plans to appeal the decision.
3 December 2010: The United States denies bail to Beatrice Munyenyezi, who was indicted for providing false information on immigration papers. She has also been accused of falsely testifying when her husband, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, came before the ICTR.
29 November 2010: The ICTR postpones to early next year the hearing of the case involving two former senior official of the MRND, the ruling party prior to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. The trial of former party president, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his deputy, Edouard Karemera will take place in January.
10 November 2010: Rwanda remains firm in its request to host the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda following the conclusion of the Tribunal’s mandate at Arusha. The final decision rests with the United Nations Security Council. Tanzania, the host of the Tribunal itself, is rumored to have applied as well.
08 November 2010: The Prosecution requests that the Tribunal impose a sentence of life imprisonment in the case of Jean-Baptiste Gatete, former Rwandan Director of the Ministry of Women and Family. Gatete is facing trial on charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity for using his influence over local police, gendarmes, and militiamen to organize massacres of Tutsis in Byumba and Kibungo prefectures.
05 November 2010: Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has filed three new applications for the referral of cases of three genocide suspects to Rwanda for trial. The cases involve detainee Pastor Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi and two fugitives, Fulgence Kayishema and Charles Sikubwabo. Such applications are filed before the Tribunal’s president, who will appoint a bench for determination after hearing arguments from both sides. Prosecutor Jallow has filed such applications only once before, in 2007, involving four detainees and one fugitive. Those requests failed out of uncertainty that the accused would receive a fair trial.
01 November 2010: A Trial Chamber sentences former Rwandan businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga to 30 years imprisonment for genocide and extermination after concluding that he and others planned the demolition of Nyange Church in Kivumu commune, Kibuye prefectre on 16 April 1994, killing about 2,000 Tutsis who had taken refuge inside. This is the second conviction arising out of this incident.
November 2010: The ICTR marks its sixteenth anniversary.
28 October 2010: Rwanda announces it will not abandon the case against Prof. Peter Erlinder, the American lawyer who was arrested and charged with revisionism, minimizing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and spreading rumors that threatened state security.
21 October 2010: INTERPOL and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) launch a ten-day conference in Tanzania, focusing on developing knowledge and expertise in investigating and prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. More than thirty law enforcement officers and specialists from sixteen countries are participating.
21 October 2010: The Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments in appeals for Tharcisse Muvunyi. Muvunyi was convicted of direct and public incitement to commit genocide and sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment. The defense for Muvunyi is claiming the Trial Chamber committed numerous errors and is asking that the Appeals Chamber overturn his conviction or reduce his sentence; the prosecution is asking for an increased sentence of twenty-five years.
20 October 2010: The Appeals Chamber affirms Emmanuel Rukundo’s convictions for genocide, and for murder and extermination as crimes against humanity, but on the basis of aiding and abetting instead of committing the events related to Saint Joseph’s College and killing of Tutsis from Saint Léon Minor Seminary. The Appeals Chamber also reverses Rukundo’s conviction of genocide relating to the mental harm of a Tutsi woman he sexually assaulted. Rukundo’s overall conviction was reduced from twenty–five years to twenty-three years. In addition, the Appeals Chamber affirms Callixte Kalimanzira’s conviction of aiding and abetting genocide, but reduces his overall sentence from thirty years to twenty-five years. Finally, the Appeals Chamber dismisses all charges but those relating to genocide at Kabuye hill after finding that the additional charges had “several factual and legal errors.”
14 October 2010: Forty members of the Rwandan judiciary are attending a two day training workshop on witness and victim support and protection in Musanze District. The training is being attended by judges, prosecutors, judicial police and prisons officers. It was organised by the Institute of Legal Practice and Development in conjunction with the ICTR.
13 October 2010: The ICTR announced that the Appeals Chamber will deliver the judgments against Emmanuel Rukundo’s and Callixte Kalimanzira’s on 20 October. The reading of the judgments will be broadcast by satellite.
12 October 2010—Rwanda welcomes the arrest on October 11 in France of Hutu rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. Mbarushimana is executive secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has also been accused by Rwandan authorities of involvement in the Rwandan Genocide. He is the first Rwandan to be arrested under an arrest warrant from the ICC.
11 October 2010: George Rutaganda, a member of the MRND, dies in Benin following sudden complication of a long illness. He was convicted by the ICTR of one count of genocide and two counts of crimes against humanity for his participation in the Rwandan genocide.
11 October 2010—An Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal rules that the government of Rwanda may proceed with the prosecution of Professor Peter Erlinder. In its ruling, the Chamber underscored that Erlinder is not to be prosecuted for conduct related to his work as Lead Defense Council at the Tribunal, but rather for alleged speech outside of proceedings that denied in whole or in part the official version of the Rwandan Genocide. Erlinder was arrested under a law prohibiting “Genocide Ideology” while traveling in Rwanda to defend then president candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
08 October 2010—In testimony before the United Nations General Assembly, Judge Dennis Byron, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, declares that the Tribunal’s efforts are being hampered by a lack of resources and by the departure of their most qualified and critical staff members. Despite these obstacles, Judge Bryon still believes the Tribunal has made “significant progress” toward completion of its mandate, and remains convinced that judgments in all ongoing or commencing cases at the trial level is expected before the end of 2011.
07 October 2010—The Trial Chamber announces that commencement of the case against Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana will be postponed until January 17, 2011. Nizeyimana was arrested in neighboring Uganda in October 2009 and stands accused of genocide and extermination, murder, and rape. Nizeyimana was second in command in chanrge of intelligence and military operations of the Non-Commissioned Officers School in the southern prefecture of Butare. He allegedly used his influence to order the massacre of Tutsis at Butare hospital, emphasizing at that time that “no Tutsi should remain.” He has pleaded not guilty.
07 October 2010—The ICTR brings before United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the case of former Minister of Transport Andre Ntagurera. Ntagurera was acquitted for his role in the Genocide and is still waiting for a host country. He presently lives in Arusha, in a “safe house” financed by the ICTR, yet the inability of the Tribunal’s registrar to find Ntagurera a permanent residence has prompted to Tribunal to seek the Secretary-General’s assistance. The ICTR has thus far acquitted eight defendants, five of whom have found host countries.
05 October 2010—The Trial Chamber announces that closing arguments will be presented on November 08 in the trial of Jean-Baptiste Gatete, former bourgmestre of Murami commune. Gatete stands accused of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity for using his influence to organize massacres of Tutsis in Byumba and Kibungo prefectures. He has pleaded not guilty.
04 October 2010—The Appeals Chamber dismisses the request by genocide-convict and former Governor of Kigali, Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, to gain access to additional evidence in his appeal against life imprisonment. Renzaho claimed that the sought after evidence would demonstrate his inability to establish control in his prefecture during the Genocide, and thus his lack of responsibility for what transpired there. The Appeals Chamber ruled, however, that Ronzaho failed to establish the admissibility and reliability of the exhibits, and further noted that it was unlikely that the additional evidence would have an impact on the verdict.
2 October 2010: ICTR postpones the hearing of the case of the president of the MRND, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and his deputy, Edouard Karemera. It will now take place on October 18. The two men are each being charged with 7 counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.
29 September 2010: Human rights activist Francois Xavier Byuma alleges before the Trial Chamber today that there were no resources that could have enabled the government to control the violence and killings escalating the county in 1994. Testifying as a defense witness against two top leaders of the ruling MRND party, Byuma told the Chamber that roadblocks and general disorder rendered it practically impossible for defendant Edouard Karemera, former Minister of Interior, to “control some parts of the county, leave alone the entire country.” Byuma is himself serving a 17-year term following a conviction by Gacaca courts, a conviction he says was handed down solely because he was a human rights activist.
28 September 2010 Yvonne Ntacyobatabara a 63 year old woman appears before judges at The Hague. She is suspected of having led a group of militias in mass massacres of Tutsis in Gikondo. She denies all charges. She was sentenced in abstentia to life in prison by the Gacaca court in Gikondo after she had moved to the Netherlands and received Dutch citizenship.
27 September 2010: The Appeals Chamber announces today that it is expecting to deliver two judgments in the coming month of October. The cases involve genocide-convicts Callixte Kalimanzira, a former senior civil servant sentenced to 30 years, and Father Emmanuel Rukundo, a priest and former Military Chaplain sentenced to 25 years. The Chamber also announces its intention to conduct a hearing of appeal involving Lieutenant-Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi, a former Rwandan military officer, who is opposing a 15-year sentence.
24 September 2010: The Appeals Chamber dismisses an appeal by former Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana. In so doing, the Chamber refuses to order the Tribunal’s President to report the French government to the United Nations Security Council for failing to cooperate on a request to provide information supporting Nzabonimana’s alibi defense. The information allegedly suggests that the defendant was at the French Embassy in Kigali during a period in which the prosecution claims he was organizing killings in his native commune of Nyabikenke, Gitarama prefecture. The Trial Chamber rescinded its decision imploring the President to act after realizing that France had fulfilled its requests.
24 September 2010: The trial of Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former President of then Rwandan ruling party MRND, continues with testimony by four witnesses. One of them, former Rwandan Minister of Information Pascal Ndengejeho, provides testimony in direct contradiction to evidence presented at Ngirumpatse’s trial. Whereas during cross examination the witness denied the allegation that MRND attempted to block the implementation of the Arusha Peace Accord, a document signed by his party, MDR, indicated the opposite.
24 September 2010 The Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, says that he will not appear in the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) to testify on behalf of Genocide-convict Colonel Théoneste Bagosora. Bagosora is appealing the court’s previous decision against him. Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi says that if he is to appear before the ICTR it will be to testify against Colonel Theoneste Bagosora. Bagosora is considered the mastermind behind the 1994 Genocide.
22 September 2010: The Chamber for Gregoire Ndahimana’s trial granted an interim order of protective measures for 54 defense witnesses in response to a motion the defense for filed on September 20, 2010. On 14 September 2010, the Trial Chamber had directed the defense to disclose identifying information of defense witnesses to the prosecution by 20 September 2010. The prosecution has yet to respond to the defense’s 20 September motion, so the Chamber granted the interim order.
20 September 2010: Four prosecution witness were granted transfer from detainment in Rwanda to the U.N. Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania to testify in the Ndahimana trial.
18 September 2010 Former Minister of Defence, Emmanuel Habyarimana, contradicts his own testimony before judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In 1999 he made a statement pinning the financing, training and arming of the Interahamwe militias on the former Rwandan minister of Youth Callixte Nzabonimana. He now says that he has “cross-checked facts and matched them with the reality. Some were confirmed while others were not." Previously, he had said his testimony was based on what he had seen and lived through.
18 September 2010 The fifth prosecution witness in trial of former Rwandan Mayor Grégoire Ndahimana claims that Kivumu Commune policemen and gendarmes backed Hutu assailants to attack and kill Tutsis who sought refuge at Nyange Parish in Kibuye prefecture (Western Rwanda) on 15 April 1994. He claims that Kivumu officials, including Ndahimana, his assistant Vedaste Murangwabugabo, former judicial police inspector Fulgence Kayishema, teacher Telesphore Ndugutse and genocide-accused Gaspard Kanyarukiga, witnessed the attacks.
17 September 2010 Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, says the decision by a French court to release Eugene Rwamucyo, suspected of involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, is clearly disrespectful to Rwanda. He claims the decision was not based on a lack of evidence, but instead was based on a lack of trust in the Rwandan justice system’s ability to handle genocide cases. He says Rwanda will not get frustrated by this set back and will continue its pursuit of Genocide suspect until they all face justice.
16 September 2010: The Trial Chamber granted a motion by the prosecution to vary protective measures for witness CNAT so that CNAT’s statements and evidence from the Nzabonimana Trial can be transferred to French authorities who are investigating international crimes.
6 September 2010: In the trial of Édouard Karemera (absent) and Matthieu Ngirumpatse, the trial chamber grants requests from two witnesses—Jean Mpambara and Martin Ndamage—to testify under their real names.
18 August 2010: As part of its completion strategy, ICTR converts one of its four courtrooms into a meeting room and supply storage.
3 August 2010: Former Rwandan regional administrator Dominique Ntawukulilyayo is sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide. Ntawukulilyayo was found guilty of genocide, but acquitted of other charges of complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
15 July 2010: Tanzanian police are investigating the killing of an ICTR defense lawyer, Jwani Mwaikusa, who was shot in Dar es Salaam. A recent string of deaths and shootings are drawing attention to Rwanda ahead of its August presidential vote.
9 July 2010: Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi pleads not guilty to all charges brought against him by the Prosecutor. He enters the plea during his initial appearance before Judge Dennis Byron, the President of the Tribunal. Uwinkindi is charged with three counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.
2 July 2010: Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi (59), former pastor in charge of the Pentecostal Church at Nyamata, Kenzenze Commune, Kigali Rural prefecture who is facing charges before the Tribunal is transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha. Uwinkindi was arrested on 30 June 2010 in Kampala, Uganda. Uwinkindi is charged with three counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The accused is alleged to have led a group of killers to exterminate Tutsi in Kanzenze commune and at his Kayenzi church.
1 July 2010: Joseph Nzirorera (59), an accused in the ongoing trial of former leaders of the Mouvement Républicain pour la Démocratie et le Développement (MRND) passes away in Arusha following sudden complications of a long illness. The case of Nzirorera was before Trial Chamber III. His Defense was at the final stage of the presentation of its case, with his last witness undergoing cross-examination. Nzirorera was former President of the National Assembly and Secretary-General of the MRND. He was jointly tried with Edouard Karemera, former Minister of Interior and Vice-President of the MRND and Mathieu Ngirumpatse former Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Karemera et al. case. The three were jointly charged with seven counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide (as an alternative to genocide), crimes against humanity (rape, extermination) and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II.
30 June 2010: The Honorable Martin Ngoga, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Rwanda and the ICTR Chief of External Relations and Strategic Planning Section and Spokesperson, Mr. Roland Amoussouga, hold a joint press conference at the ICTR Headquarters in Arusha on the status of cooperation between Rwanda and the Tribunal. During the press conference, among other issues, the matter concerning the ongoing case of ICTR defense lawyer Peter Erlinder before the Rwandan courts was discussed. Both Hon. Ngoga and Mr. Amoussouga underlined the good cooperation between Rwanda and the Tribunal, essential for ensuring the smooth functioning of the trials. Hon. Ngoga assured the current ICTR defense lawyers that they can continue their work in Rwanda without fear. He also underlined the commitment of Rwanda to honor its obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tribunal and Rwanda. Hon. Ngoga stressed that the case against Mr. Erlinder is not based on his work before the Tribunal and is a specific case that does not have implications for the work of the other defense counsel. In the opinion of the Rwandan Government, the prosecution of Mr. Erlinder does not violate international law. However, Hon. Ngoga made clear that Rwanda will respect conflicting findings of the ICTR or the UN Office of Legal Affairs.
30 June 2010: Yussuf Munyakazi, a former businessman in Bugarama, Cyangugu is sentenced to 25 years in prison by Trial Chamber I. The Chamber found Munyakazi guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. He remains in custody in the UN Detention Facility in Arusha until his transfer to a country where he will serve his sentence. Trial Chamber I found that Munyakazi was a leader in incidents in Shangi parish on 29 April 1994 and Mibilizi parish on 30 April 1994 and that he was liable for the deaths of over 5,000 Tutsi civilians. The Chamber did not, however, hold that Munyakazi was part of a joint criminal enterprise. The judges also ruled based on circumstantial evidence that Munyakazi intended to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group in whole or in part. The Chamber finds that the Prosecution had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Munyakazi recruited and trained Interahamwe, that he stored or distributed weapons to the Interahamwe, that he provided food and support beyond transportation to Shangi and Mibilizi, or that he took part in an attack in Nyamasheke parish on 16 April 1994.
29 June 2010: The United Nations Security Council agrees to extend the terms of office of five permanent and nine ad litem Judges who are members of the Trial Chambers until 31 December 2011 or completion of their assignments, if sooner. The terms of office of the two permanent Judges who are members of the Appeals Chamber are extended until 31 December 2012 or until the completion of the cases to which they are assigned, if sooner.
29 June 2010: Former Director of Cabinet in the Rwandan Defense Ministry Theoneste Bagosora tells the ICTR that he was not aware of military training given to notorious Interahamwe militia of the youth wing of the ruling MRND party in 1994. "I am not aware of such program. I have no any information regarding the training of Interahamwe," said genocide-convict Bagosora when testifying as defense witness for former Secretary General of MRND, Joseph Nzirorera. He was being cross-examined by the prosecution that despite the signing of a cease-fire agreement in March 1993, MRND started training Interahamwe and that investigations conducted by Human Rights Organizations revealed that the Rwandan Armed Forces offered such training. Bagosora stated that if Gen. Ndindiliyimana was aware of the training he would have reported to the Minister of Defense. Nzirorera is charged jointly with his co-top MRND leaders, President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his Vice-President Edouard Karemera. They are charged with crimes allegedly committed by members of their party. The prosecution has indicted them for their superior responsibility as top officials of the party then in power during the genocide.
22 June 2010: Trial Chamber III refuses to postpone the site visit and hearing of closing arguments in the case of ex-Rwandan Director in the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs Jean Baptiste Gatete. The Chamber set to conduct the site visit to Rwanda between 11 and 16 July 2010, while hearing of closing arguments is scheduled for 2 August. The defense sought a postponement of the sessions because of security situation in Rwanda and "tension" arising from "the upcoming presidential election" in August. However, in its decision dated 17 June 2010, the Trial Chamber said that after the filing of defense request it directed the ICTR Security and Safety Unit in Kigali to evaluate security risk for the proposed dates of the site visit. Gatete is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the former prefectures of Kibungo, Eastern Rwanda and Byumba in the North-Eastern of Rwanda.
21 June 2010: The Registrar, Mr. Adama Dieng, grants the request for withdrawal of assignment of American lawyer Beth Suzan Lyons as co-counsel of Gregoire Ndahimana, former mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda. The decision follows the request by Ndahimana's lead counsel, Tanzanian Bharat Chadha, for withdrawal of the American lawyer's service due to a breakdown of communications and deterioration of relationship between him and Ms Lyons and between the latter and accused. Ndahimana is charged with genocide or complicity in genocide, in the alternative and extermination as crimes against humanity between 6 and 20 April 1994.
18 June 2010: The Chief Prosecutor of the ICTR, Hassan Jallow, tells the United Nations Security Council that Kenya has failed to cooperate with the ICTR in capturing Felicien Kabuga, a fugitive accused of financing the 1994 genocide. "I regret to report... that there has been no further progress in the matter of cooperation with Kenya in relation to the case of Felicien Kabuga," Jallow said as he briefed the Security Council on the tribunal’s activities over the past six months. "Despite the copious evidence of Kabuga's entry, residence, activities and occasional reported sightings of him in that country, Kenya has neither arrested him nor provided the information requested by the prosecutor to assist in the tracking and arrest of this fugitive," he added. ICTR president, Dennis Byron, acting at Jallow's request, formally informed the president of 15-member Security Council, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, of Kenya's failure to cooperate "for consideration and appropriate action." Kabuga is the most wanted of 11 genocide suspects sought by the ICTR and still on the run. The United States has placed a five-million-dollar bounty on his head.
16 June 2010: The Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments regarding the appeal by Tharcisse Renzaho against the Judgment rendered by Trial Chamber I on 14 July 2009. The case concerns Mr. Renzaho’s responsibility in relation to events that took place in Kigali-Ville prefecture between April and June 1994. The Trial Chamber found Mr. Renzaho guilty of genocide; murder as a crime against humanity; and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. In addition, it convicted Renzaho for his responsibility as a superior for genocide; murder as a crime against humanity; rape as a crime against humanity; and rape as a serious violation of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. The Trial Chamber imposed a single sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of Renzaho’s life.
15 June 2010: The Appeals Chamber of the ICTR hears oral arguments in the appeals lodged by Emmanuel Rukundo and the Prosecution against the Judgment pronounced by Trial Chamber II on 27 February 2009. The Trial Chamber found Rukundo guilty of genocide through his participation in the killing of Madame Rudahunga and the causing of serious bodily harm to four other Tutsis who were abducted from Saint Joseph’s College, the abduction and killing of Tutsis from the Saint Léon Minor Seminary, and the sexual assault of a Tutsi woman at the seminary. In addition, it convicted Rukundo for murder as a crime against humanity for the killing of Madame Rudahunga and for extermination as a crime against humanity for his participation in the abduction and killings of Tutsis from the Saint Léon Minor Seminary. The Trial Chamber sentenced Rukundo to a single term of 25 years of imprisonment.
14 June 2010: The Appeals Chamber of the ICTR hears oral arguments in the appeals lodged by Callixte Kalimanzira and the Prosecution against the Judgment rendered by Trial Chamber III on 22 June 2009. The Trial Chamber found Kalimanzira guilty of instigating and aiding and abetting genocide at the Butare-Gisagara roadblock around 22 April 1994 and for aiding and abetting genocide at Kabuye hill on 23 April 1994 and at the inauguration of Élie Ndayambaje as bourgmestre of Muganza Commune on 22 June 1994. In addition, it found Kalimanzira guilty for direct and public incitement to commit genocide at the Jaguar roadblock in mid to late April 1994, at the Kajyanama roadblock in late-April 1994, at the Gisagara marketplace at the end of May 1994, and at the Nyabisagara football field in late-May or early June 1994. Kalimanzira was sentenced to a single term of 30 years of imprisonment.
14 June 2010: Closing arguments are presented in the Ntawukulilyayo case, which involves charges of genocide (alternatively, complicity in genocide), and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. The Prosecution requests the Defendant’s conviction and life imprisonment; the Defense requests his acquittal.
8 June 2010: Twenty-five cases of persons investigated but not indicted by the Tribunal are transferred from the OTP to Rwanda for further investigation and possible future action. This action was undertaken in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1503, which urges that appropriate cases be prosecuted in competent national jurisdictions.
5 June 2010: Peter Erlinder, former defence counsel for Aloys Ntabakuze, who was sentenced by the ICTR Trial Chamber to life imprisonment in December 2008, and current defense lawyer for Rwandan opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire, was arrested in Kigali. Professor Erlinder and his client have both been charged with the domestic crime of “genocide ideology.” It is unclear whether his arrest has anything to do with his work in the ICTR as his travel to Kigali was not connected to his mandate with the ICTR.
26 May 2010: A defense witness in the case of genocide-accused Callixte Nzabonimana alleges before the ICTR that a Rwandan mayor had compelled him to level false accusations against the defendant. Jean-Marie Vianney Mporanzi, himself a former Rwandan mayor, declared that he had acted under duress when making two false statements to ICTR investigators in 1998 and 2003 incriminating Callixte Nzabonimana, Minister of Youth in 1994.
24 May 2010: In the Kanyarukiga case, closing arguments are presented. The Prosecution requests that the Defendant be sentenced to life imprisonment, while the Defense pleaded for his acquittal. Kanyarukiga, a former businessman, is charged with three counts: genocide, complicity in genocide (as an alternative to genocide), and extermination as a crime against humanity, all in connection with an incident in Nyange wherein two thousand Tutsi refugees were killed when the church in which they were sheltered was bulldozed on 16 April 1994.
3-4 May 2010: His Excellency, Koffi Esaw, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Togo visits the Tribunal. The purpose of the visit is to familiarize himself with the operation and resources of the Tribunal and to learn from the ICTR’s achievements and challenges within the framework of its completion strategy.
28-30 April 2010: The ICTR, in collaboration with the Department of Public Information in New York, launches its 2010 photo exhibitions program at Umutara Polytechnic University in Nyagatare District, Eastern Rwanda. The theme of the Exhibitions, ‘’Lessons from Rwanda,’’ is part of the United Nations Prevention of Genocide initiative, which is an Information and Educational Outreach Program run by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI).
26-28 April 2010: In the Hategekimana case, the Chamber hears the Parties’ Closing Arguments.
25 April 2010: Jean Bosco Barayagwiza passes away in the morning at the “Centre Hospitalier Departemental de L’Oueme” of Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, where he was admitted on 5 March 2010. Barayagwiza, the founding member of the Coalition for Defense of the Republic (CDR) party that organized the founding of the company Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), was convicted by the ICTR on charges of instigating the perpetration of acts of genocide; planning, ordering or instigating the commission of a crime against humanity (extermination); and instigating the perpetration of a crime against humanity (persecution). He was sentenced to 32 years in prison, which he was continuing to serve in Benin at the time of his death.
20 April 2010: The Tribunal completes the second phase of the Youth Sensitization Project involving the five East African countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. More than 200 students from 14 primary and secondary schools attended a briefing session and an exhibition on the work of the Tribunal.
20 April 2010: The Registrar of the ICTR, Mr. Adama Dieng, visits the Tribunal’s Information and Documentation Center – Umusanzu – while on a two-day working mission to Rwanda.
12 April 2010: Georges Rutaganda, testifying as a defense witness for Joseph Nzirorera, states that Nzirorera was never associated with any activities of the Interahamwe militia. Rutaganda, former vice president of the Interahamwe, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of genocide, extermination, and murder.
12 April 2010: The trial of the former Rwandan Youth minister Callixte Nzabonimana resumes at the ICTR. Cross-examination of the prosecution witness CNAC continued in an almost totally closed session. The accused faces five charges associated with massacres in his hometown of Gitarama: genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder.
8 April 2010: ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow calls on Kenya to hand over Felicien Kabuga and ten other individuals for prosecution at the tribunal. Kabuga, a wealthy businessman with ties to the MRND, was indicted in 1997.
7 April 2010: The President and Prosecutor of the ICTR, Justice Dennis Byrone and Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, along with the Judges and Registrar of the ICTR, the President of the African Court Justice Mutsinzi Jean, the Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community Alloys Mutabingwa, the Registrars of the East African Court of Justice and the African Court, and representatives of the Rwandan diaspora community gather at the Arusha International Conference Center in Arusha, Tanzania to mark the 16th anniversary of the genocide committed against Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
23 March 2010: Italy has taken in Father Hormisdas Nsengimana, a catholic priest who was acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in November 2009.
18 March 2010: The ICTR Appeals Chamber overturns Simeon Nshamihigo's conviction on a number of counts, reducing his life sentence to 40 years. Nshamihigo is a former Rwandan public prosecutor and ex-ICTR staffer. At the time of the genocide he was deputy public prosecutor in the south western Rwandan town of Cyangugu. In December 2001 he was working under a false identity as part of a defense team at the ICTR when he was recognized by a witness and arrested.
18 March 2010: The Appeals Chamber confirms Simon Bikindi's conviction and sentence of 15 years in prison. Bikindi, a former singer, composer, and leader of a ballet troupe was found guilty of a single count of direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on public exhortations to kill Tutsis, which he made on the Kivumu-Kayove road in Gisenyi prefecture in late June 1994.
25 February 2010: Trial Chamber I finds Lt. Col. Ephrem Setako, former head of the legal affairs division of the Rwandan Ministry of Defence, guilty of genocide, the crime against humanity of extermination, and serious violations of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. Setako is sentenced to 25 years in prison. According to the judgment, Setako ordered the killings of 40-50 Tutsi at Mukamira military camp on 25 April and 11 May 1994. He was acquitted of complicity to commit genocide, murder as a crime against humanity, and pillage as a war crime.
19 February 2010: The Appeals Chamber dismisses Gaspard Kanyarukiga’s interlocutory appeal of Trial Chamber II’s decision on disclosure and return of exculpatory documents. The items seized from Kanyarukiga’s person upon his transfer to Tribunal authorities after his arrest in South Africa allegedly included two laissez-passer documents that would support his alibi in the proceedings. Upon Defence’s request, the Prosecution repeatedly indicated it had no knowledge of the documents. Defence moved to compel disclosure of the documents, the Trial Chamber denied the motion, and Defence appealed.
16 February 2010: Judge Patrick Robinson orders that the Appeals Bench in the Karemera case include himself, Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge Liu Daqun, Judge Theodor Meron, and Judge Carmel Agius.
11 February 2010: Concluding a retrial on the sole charge of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, Trial Chamber III finds Tharcisse Muvunyi, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan army, guilty and sentences him to 15 years in prison. Muvunyi will remain in ICTR custody until transferred to the State in which he will serve his sentence; he will receive credit for time served since his arrest in February 2000. The retrial was ordered on 29 August 2008, when the Appeals Chamber set aside Muvunyi’s convictions of several acts of genocide, other inhumane acts, and direct and public incitement to commit genocide of 12 September 2006.
9 February 2010: Grégoire Ndahimana pleads not guilty to all charges in the amended indictment issued on 5 February.
5 February 2010: An amended indictment is issued in the case against Grégoire Ndahimana, the former mayor of Kivumu in Kibuye prefecture. In it, Ndahimana is charged with three counts of genocide, or complicity in genocide, and the crime against humanity of extermination. One count of conspiracy to commit genocide was dropped from the prior indictment. Ndahimana is alleged to have planned, jointly with Father Athanase Seromba and Fulgence Kayishema, the massacres at Nyange Parish in which more than 2000 Tutsi refugees were killed.
5 February 2010: Presiding Judge Patrick Robinson of the Appeals Chamber orders his replacement on the bench by Judge Theodor Meron in the Kalimanzira case, Judge Carmel Agius in the Rukundo case, and Judge Liu Daqun in the Renzaho case.
2 February 2010: Juvenal Kajelijeli, who is serving in a Benin prison for his role in the 1994 genocide testified in defense for Joseph Nzirorera. Nzirorera's case was postponed from its original date of 27 January 2010 because of a lack of witnesses for the defense.
28-29 January 2010: Trial Chamber I heard closing briefs for the case of Yussuf Munyakazi. The defense is asking for a sentence of life imprisonment for Munyakazi who is currently the oldest ICTR detainee.
25 January 2010: The case against the former Minister of planning Augustin Ngirabatware has recommenced. The case was initially adjourned in 22 October 2009 because Judges Bocca and Rajohnson were sitting on the bench for the Nzabonimana trial.
18 January 2010: Former Secretary General of the MRND Joseph Nzirorera, currently being tried by the tribunal, asks to have his indictment amended to include the charge that he was involved in the assassination of President Habyarimana in 1994 so that he may publicly defend against the charge, which he denies. The request follows the publication of a Rwandan government report claiming that Nzirorera and other Hutu extremists brought down the President's plane.
18 January 2010: The trial of three ex-officials of the MRND party resumes. The joint trial of former Secretary General Joseph Nzirorera, former President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and former Vice-President Edouard Karemera began in September 2005 and is projected to end this year, along with the remaining first-instance trials.
15 January 2010: Human Rights Watch releases in print and online a 500 page digest of ICTR judgments. The book is organized by topic and aimed at NGOs, academic researchers, and practitioners in the field.
12 December 2009: The UN Security Council extends the mandate of the ICTR to 2012 to allow the tribunal to complete its work. Trials are to conclude by 30 June 2010 and all appeal procedures by the end of 2012.
20 November 2009: A group of genocide survivors and organizations providing support to these survivors gather in front of the ICTR's documentation center in Kigali to hold a peaceful protest. They are protesting what they call “malpractices” by the ICTR in their acquittal of Father Hormisdas Nsengimana and Protais Zigiranyirazo.
17 November 2009: Father Hormisdas Nsengimana, who was arrested in Cameroon in 2002, is acquitted of genocide and murder and extermination as crimes against humanity. His immediate release has been ordered. He was alleged to have been at the center of a group of Hutu extremists that carried out attacks in Nyanza in 1994.
16 November 2009: Protais Zigiranyirazo is acquitted by the ICTR Appeals Chamber. In 2008, the Trial Chamber found Zigiranyirazo guilty of committing genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity by participating in a joint criminal enterprise to kill Tutsis at Kesho Hill and sentenced him to 20 years. He was also found guilty and sentenced to 15 years for aiding and abetting genocide in relation to the killing of Tutsis at a roadblock in the Kiyovu. The Appeals Chamber reverses the decision due to serious factual and legal errors in respect to both events.
1 November 2009: ICTR comes under criticism after eight convicts from the Special Court for Sierra Leone are transferred to prison in Rwanda. The ICTR has refused to transfer those convicted at the tribunal to Rwandan prisons, saying the prisons do not meet international standards.
27 October 2009: ICTR holds three-day workshop for secondary school students and teachers from northern Rwanda to inform them about the role of tribunal in contributing to the reconciliation process in Rwanda. This is part of an ongoing outreach project to create a genocide awareness network through the secondary schools that will educate youth about the ICTR and promote human rights values.
20 October 2009: Trial of Jean-Baptiste Gatete, former Mayor of Murambi Commune in Byumba prefecture, begins with opening statements. Gatete pleaded not guilty to 10 counts in the first indictment on 20 September 2002 during an initial appearance. Current charges include: 6 counts of genocide (or complicity in genocide); conspiracy to commit genocide; and crimes against humanity for extermination, murder, and rape. Gatete is alleged to have led a campaign of terror against Tutsi civilians resulting in thousands of deaths in Byumba and Kibungo prefectures. “The accused killed persons by his own hand, specifically ordered killings by subordinates, and led attacks.” Gatete is also accused of commanding the Interahamwe militias who are alleged to have massacred several thousand Tutsi civilians in Kiziguro and Mukarange Churches, at Kayonza Commune, and at the CERAI School in Rukira.
7-20 October 2009: Trial of Augustin Ngirabatware (Case No: ICTR-99-54-T), continues with examination of witnesses. Lawyers spar over the discussion, credibility, and admissibility of records from gacaca proceedings.
16 October 2009: In Karemera et al. (Case No. ICTR-98-44-AR91.2), co-accused Joseph Nzirorera’s motion for extension of time to file response brief (requested because accused has not yet obtained access to the confidential Bizimungu et al. decision) is granted. Nzirorera must file his response within 3 days of being granted access to the Bizimungu decision (not 7 days as requested).
14-15 October 2009: Trial of Yussuf Munyakazi continues with examination of accused, called to testify by the defense.
14 October 2009: Idelphonse Nizeyimana (second in command, in charge of intelligence and military operations at the Ecole des Sous Officiers) makes an initial appearance and pleads not guilty to all charges. Accused was initially charged alongside Tharcisse Muvunyi (case on re-trial) and Idelphonse Hategekimana (trial in progress). Nizeyimana’s trial date to be set later. Charges include: 4 counts of genocide (or complicity in genocide), crimes against humanity (rape), and crimes against humanity (other inhumane acts). As a part of the chain of command, Nizeyimana is alleged to have had authority over soldiers and to have been a member of the elite inner circle (Akazu) of President Habyarimana.He is accused of sending a group of soldiers to execute the former Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda, in her home. He is also accused of planning, inciting to commit, ordering, committing, or otherwise aiding and abetting the planning and preparation of these executions. He is also alleged to have known, or had reason to know, that his subordinates were preparing to commit or had committed one or more of these crimes, and to have failed to take “necessary and reasonable measurers to prevent the said acts from being committed or to punish those who were responsible.”
8 October 2009: Judge Dennis Byron, President, addresses the UN General Assembly to announce the release of the ICTR’s 14th Annual Report (July08-June09). In sum, 7 trials involving 10 accused are in evidence phase; 4 of these will be completed this year. 2 other trials will commence soon. In the last year, judgments have been rendered in 8 cases involving 11 accused. In 2010, the ICTR expects to render judgments in nearly all pending first instance trials (14, against 24 accused). Karemera et al. is one likely to spill over.
5 October 2009: Former intelligence chief Idelphonse Nizeyiman is arrested in Uganda for the organized killing of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and the former Queen Rosalie Gicanda during the 1994 genocide.
30 September 2009: Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments from Simon Bikindi. Bikindi is asking that his conviction be overturned or his sentence reduced. The Prosecution wants the appeal to be dismissed.
29 September 2009: Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments from Siméon Nchamihigo, former Deputy Prosecutor in Cyangugu. Nchamihigo wants his conviction to be overturned or a more lenient sentence handed down. The Prosecution wants the appeal to be dismissed.
28 September 2009: Appeals Chamber hears oral arguments from Protais Zigiranyirazo. Zigiranyirazo is alleges that the Trail court committed numerous errors in both law and fact. He is appealing to have his convictions overturned or his sentence reduced.
17 September 2009: Michael Bagaragaza pleads guilty to the count of complicity in genocide, contained in an amended indictment. Trial Chamber III has scheduled a hearing of character witness in preparation for sentencing for 2 November. Bagaragaza, former Director General of the office controlling the Rwandan tea industry, was initially charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of Additional Protocol II of 1977.
10 September 2009: Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov of the Russian Federation is sworn in as judge of the ICTR.
31 August 2009: The trial of Gaspard Kanyarukiga, a former businessman of Kivumu in Kibuye prefecture, begins in Trial Chamber II. Kanyarukiga is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity (extermination).
6 August 2009: The Nshogoza Defense appeals the sole conviction for violation of a witness protection order on the grounds, inter alia, that this is not a crime.
14 July 2009: Trial Chamber I sentences Tharcisse Renzaho to life imprisonment. Renzaho, former prefect of Kigali-Ville and Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces, had been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. He was acquitted of complicity to commit genocide.
8 July 2009: The Trial Chamber Judgment in Nshogoza contains a conclusion that the Defence brought forward prima facie evidence of at least three occasions where members of the ICTR Office of the Prosecutor violated witness protection orders, and was considering ordering an investigation into the OTP's conduct.
7 July 2009: The UN Security Council extends the term of office of six permanent ICTR judges until 31 December 2010 or until the completion of the cases to which they were or will be assigned if sooner. The Council also extended the terms of the eleven ad litem judges.
2 July 2009: Trial Chamber III sentences Léonidas Nshogoza, who served as Defense investigator during the trial of Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, to ten months imprisonment for contempt of the Tribunal. Nshogoza was found guilty for repeatedly disclosing the protected information of two witnesses.
30 June 2009: Nine ICTR convicted prisoners are transferred to Benin for purposes of serving their sentences. The prisoners are George Rutaganda, Gerard Ntakirutimana, Juvenal Kajelijeli, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Aloys Simba, Juvenal Rugambaraara, Athanase Seromba and Francois Karera.
29 June 2009: The Prosecution and Defense present their closing arguments in the Ndindiliyimana et al. case. The case involves four former military officials: General Augustin Bizimungu, former Rwandan Army Chief of Staff; General Augustine Ndindiliyimana, former Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie Nationale; Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, former Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion (REECE) of the Rwandan Army; and Innocent Sagahutu, former second in command of the Reconnaissance Battalion and Commander of the A company of the battalion. The accused are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit genocide or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide; crimes against humanity; and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Second Additional Protocol (war crimes).
26 June 2009: The Defense for Ephrem Setako, the former Lieutenant-Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces and Director of the Judicial Affairs Division of the Rwandan Ministry of Defense, concludes its case. The Prosecution completed its case on 22 April 2009. Setako is charged with six counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity (murder and extermination) and violations of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
22 June 2009: Trial Chamber III sentences Callixte Kalimanzira, ex-Deputy Interior Minister, to thirty years imprisonment based on his convictions for genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. The Chamber noted Kalimanzira’s status within the Ministry of the Interior in determining his sentence, holding that his position made it likely that others would follow his example.
17 June 2009: The retrial of Tharcisse Muvunyi, the former commander of the Ecole des Sous Officers (ESO) in Butare Prefecture, begins with the Prosecution’s opening remarks. The new trial follows the Appeals Chamber’s 29 August 2008 judgment overturning Muvunyi’s convictions on counts of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.
22 May 2009: In its decision on the Nshogoza Defence motion for a stay of proceedings, rendered after the trial ended, the Trial Chamber orders the Registrar to review its internal procedures relating to the disclosure of confidential information to the Rwandan authorities.
8 May 2009: The Judges re-elect Charles Dennis Byron of Saint Kitts as President of the ICTR and Khalida Rachid Khan of Pakistan as Vice President. Judge Byron arrived at the Tribunal in June 2004 and has served as a member of Trial Chamber III. Judge Khan joined the Tribunal in August 2003 and is the presiding Judge of Trial Chamber III.
6 May 2009: The trial of Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, the former sous-prefet in Butare Prefecture, begins with the Prosecution’s opening remarks. Ntawukulilyayo is charged with three counts of genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
4 May 2009: The Prosecution and Defense present closing arguments in the “Butare Case,” which involves the joint trial of six persons charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions. The accused are Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Rwandan Minister for Family and Women Affairs (the first woman to be indicted by an international criminal tribunal and the only woman to be indicted by the ICTR thus far); Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, Nyiramasuhuko’s son and former leader of the Interahamwe militia; Sylvain Nsabimana, former Governor of Butare; Alphonse Nteziryayo, former Commanding Officer of the Military Police and former prefect of Butare; Joseph Kanyabashi, former Mayor of Ngoma; and Elie Ndayambaje, former Mayor of Muganza.
28 April 2009: The Prosecution and Defense present closing arguments in the case of Leonidas Nshogoza. Nshogoza is charged with contempt of the Tribunal and attempt to commit acts punishable as contempt of the Tribunal. The accused is alleged to have committed offenses with intent to fabricate additional evidence and procure false statements for use in support of the appeal against conviction and sentence of Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda.
22 April 2009: The trial of Yussuf Munyakazi, a former businessman in the Bugarama commune, begins with the Prosecution’s opening statement before Trial Chamber I. The trial is taking place at the ICTR following Trial Chamber III’s denial of an application by the Prosecutor for referral of the case to Rwanda on 28 May 2008. The Appeals Chamber upheld this decision on 9 October 2009. Both Chambers cited concerns about the rights of the accused and the ability to receive a fair trial in Rwanda as well as the independence of its judiciary.
21 April 2009: The Prosecution and Defense present closing arguments before Trial Chamber III in the case of Callixte Kalimanzira, former Chef de Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior. Kalimanzira is charged with three counts of genocide, complicity in genocide and public incitement to commit genocide.
9 April 2009: Appeals Chamber reverses lower court's decision not to allow Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former President of the Mouvement Revolutionaire Natinale pour le Developpement (MRND), to be provisionally released to receive medical treatment in Europe. Ngirumpatse’s motion is remanded to the Trial Chamber for reconsideration in line with the Appeals Chamber’s decision.
27 March 2009: The Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Hon.Ms. Patricia O’Brienvisits the ICTR, during which she held talks with ICTR senior officials over the execution of the Tribunal’s mandate and its completion strategy.During the visit Ms. O’Brien met with the President of the Tribunal Judge Dennis Byron, the Prosecutor Mr. Hassan Bubacar Jallow and the Registrar Mr. Adama Dieng.In her meeting with the the press Ms. O’Brien stated that the required cooperation of member states in witness relocation, enforcement of sentences and apprehension of fugitives, was of utmost importance to the success of the Tribunal. She added that the remaining thirteen fugitives of the Tribunal will not be let off the hook at the end of the Tribunal’s mandate.
16 March 2009: The trial of Ildephonse Hategekimana starts at the ICTR. Hategekimana, a former Commander of Ngoma Military Barracks, is charged with genocide and murder and rape as crimes against humanity. Hategekimana was supposed to be transferred to Rwanda for trial alongside four other accused, but the transfer was blocked by the Tribunal.
16 March 2009: After a week-long legal battle, at last the defense case of the Rwandan lawyer, Leonidas Nshogoza, charged with contempt of court at ICTR, commences. The case failed to begin as scheduled on 9 March due to a number of reasons, including failure of the accused's lead Defense Counsel, Canadian Allison Turner, to obey the court order to reduce the number of defense witnesses from 22 to 10 and for her misconduct during court proceedings.
12 March 2009: Trial Chamber III of the ICTR sanctions Canadian lawyer, Allison Turner, with a fine of $5,000 US dollars for failure to comply with the orders of the Chamber and for her misconduct during court proceedings. Turner is a lead Defence Counsel for Rwandan lawyer, Leonidas Nshogoza on trial for contempt of court. The Counsel failed to comply with Chamber's order to reduce the number of witnesses from 22 to 10, despite the earlier warnings that she could face possible sanctions if not implemented.
11 March 2009: Trial Chamber III adjourns trial of Rwandan lawyer, Leonidas Nshogoza accused of contempt of court sine die. Counsel Alison Turner insisted that she would not continue with the trial until the security issue for her defense witnesses was assured.
11 March 2009: Trial Chamber III denies request of the ailing former Rwandan President of the MRND ruling party in 1994, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, who wished to be treated in Europe. Prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity, Ngirumpatse, whose health conditions deteriorated since August last year, asked to be transferred from Nairobi where he has been receiving medical care to the detention center of ICTY for better treatment. Trial Chamber III admits that medical reasons can justify the transfer of an ICTR detainee but notes that the motion of the former president of the MRND does not specify if the ICTY or the Hague is ready to accommodate him.
9 March 2009: During a hearing in the Nshogoza trial, the ICTR Witness Protection Section (WVSS) publicly admits that i tregularly provides all sealed, protected witness information to the Rwandan Prosecutor General, the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, and then, if the Prosecutor General authorises the person to go to Arusha to testify, to the Department of Immigration.
6 March 2009: The Trial Chamber in Nshogoza orders the ICTR Registrar to investigate interference allegations and report by 9 March 2009.
5 March 2009: ICTR grants prosecution's motion to separate the ailing genocide accused, former President of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), Mathieu Ngirumpatse, from the joint trial of Edouard Karemera, ex-MRND vice-president, and Joseph Nzirorera, Ex-Secretary General of the party. Ngirumpatse has been confined to bed for months now in a Nairobi hospital. The Chamber has also directed that Karemera and Nzirorera's joint trial resume on March 23.
4 March 2009: Nshogoza Defence files a motion for a stay of proceedings due to Rwandan Government interference with protected defence witnesses.
15 February 2009: The trial of three former leaders the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) is still at a standstill because of the ill health of Mathieu Ngirumpatse, who has been confined to bed for several months. Ngirumpatse was president of the MRND. Also on trial is Edouard Karemera, who was the vice-president, and Joseph Nzirorera, who was the secretary-general of the MRND.
14 February 2009: Prosecutor requests a life sentence for Hormisdas Nsengimana, a Catholic Priest accused of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and the crimes against humanity of murder and extermination. At the time of his alleged crimes, Nsengimana was the head of the Christ the King College of Nyanza, Southern Province, where he was a leader of a death squad that included members of his staff.
9 February 2009: The trial of Léonidas Nshogoza for contempt of court begins today. Nshogoza was the defense attorney for Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, the former Rwandan Minister for Culture and Education. A witness testified that Nshogoza offered to give him "something" in exchange for making a false testimony to help Kamuhanda's case. Kamuhanda was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of conspiracy to commit genocide, and complicity to commit genocide.
2 February 2009: The Appeals Chamber confirms François Karera's sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of his life. On 7 December 2007, Trial Chamber I found Karera guilty of genocide and extermination and murder as crimes against humanity, for his participation in the killing of Tutsis in Nyamirambo sector, at Ntarama Church, and in Rushashi commune.
14 January 2009: TharcisseMuvunyi's retrial is postponed indefinitely because of the absence of the defense counsel. The Appeals Chamber orders for Muvunyi to remain in custody while awaiting his retrial.
18 December 2008: Trial Chamber III convicts Protais Zigiranyirazo of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity and sentences him to 20 years imprisonment. The Trial Chamber however acquitted him of conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and murder as a crime against humanity. Specifically, the Chamber found Zigiranyirazo guilty of having participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the common purpose of committing genocide and extermination of Tutsi at Kesho Hill, as well as aiding and abetting genocide at the Kiyovu roadblock.
18 December 2008: Trial Chamber I renders judgment in the "Military I" case involving four senior officers of the Rwandan army in 1994: Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, General Gratien Kabiligi, Major Aloys Ntabakuze, and Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. The Chamber sentenced Bagosora, Ntabakuze and Nsengiyumva to life imprisonment for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes based on their role in crimes committed in 1994. The Chamber acquitted Kabiligi of all charges against him and ordered his release. The Chamber also acquitted each of the Accused of conspiring to commit genocide before 7 April 1994.
7 December 2008: ICTR transfers Jean de DieuKamuhanda and EliezerNiyitegeka to Mali where they will spend the remainder of their sentences. Trial Chamber II, on 22 January 2004 found Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda guilty of genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity. Kamuhanda was found not guilty of war crimes, other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity, and rape as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Appeals Chamber, on September 19, 2005, confirmed his sentence. The Trial Chamber I, on 16 May 2003, found Eliezer Niyitegeka guilty of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, of "direct and public incitation to commit genocide," murder as a crime against humanity, extermination as a crime against humanity, and other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity. Niyitegeka was found not guilty of complicity in genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. Niyitegeka was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Appeals Chamber, on July 2004, confirmed his verdict.
3 December 2008: ICTR transfers Ferdinand Nahimana and Hassan Ngeze to Mali where they will spend the remainder of their sentences. Ferdinand Nahimana, on 8 December 2003 was convicted of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide,direct and public incitementto commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. He was condemned to life imprisonment. On 28 November 2007, the Appeals Chamber reduced his prison term to 30 years. It confirmed the charges for directly and publiclyinciting the commission of genocide and for persecution as a crime against humanity. Hassan Ngeze was found guilty of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide by direct and published channels, and crimes against humanity. He was acquitted on the charges of complicity to commit genocide and of crimes against humanity. Ngeze was sentenced to life imprisonment. On 28 November 2007, the Appeals Chamber reduced his prison term to 35 years. It confirmed the charges for aiding and abetting the commission of genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and aiding and abetting extermination as a crime against humanity.
2 December 2008: Trial Chamber III convicts Simon Bikindi, a popular Rwandan musician prior to the 1994 genocide, of direct and public incitement to commit genocide and sentences him to fifteen years imprisonment. This count was the only one out of six charges on which Bikindi was found guilty. While the Chamber recognized that some of Bikindi`s songs had an inciting character, the judges held that all songs had been written before 1994, and thus fell outside of the Tribunal's jurisdiction. The judges also found that there was not enough evidence to prove that Bikindi had played a role in the dissemination of the songs via Radio Mille Collines which had been played throughout the genocide. However, the Chamber found that Bikindi directly and publicly incited genocide through certain speeches delivered to large crowds through a loudspeaker.
24 September 2008: Simon Nchamihigo was sentenced to life in prison for genocide, murder and crimes against humanity. The ICTR said that in April 1994, Nchamihigo told the Interhamwe to kill Tutsis. They further accused him of using his position to incite genocide. Nchamihigo was arrested in 2001 and pled not guilty to all charges. He is the latest of 33 sentences the ICTR has passed since its inception in 1997.
24 September 2008: ICTR sentenced Siméon Nchamihigo, former Deputy Prosecutor in Cyangugu Prefecture to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of genocide, extermination, murder and other inhumane act as crimes against humanity. The Chamber finds that on 7 April 1994, Siméon Nchamihigo told Interahamwe to seek out and kill Tutsi with the intention to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group and other civilians who were RPF accomplices, as part of a widespread attack against civilians in Cyangugu. The Chamber also finds that Siméon Nchamihigo participated in various attacks on refugee places. The Chamber further finds that he attended the prefecture Security Council meetings on 11 and 14 April 1994, and that some of the massacres were planned during those meetings, especially the transfer of Tutsi refugees to the Kamarampaka stadium and the subsequent removal of some of them who were killed.
24 September 2008:The Nchamihigo case, former Deputy Prosecutor in Cyangugu Prefecture, Siméon Nchamihigo is found guilty of genocide, extermination, murder and other inhumane act as crimes against humanity. He is sentenced to life imprisonment.
22 September 2008: Andre Ntagerura, a former Rwandan Minister acquitted of charges of crimes against humanity and genocide in 2004 by ICTR. He has filed a motion before the Appeals Chamber asking the court to order Canada to grant him asylum. Ntagerura aquittal charges are not completed until he finds a host country and has been since living in a safe house in Arusha.
22 September 2008: A Belgium missionary, Constant Julius Goetschalckx, testified before the ICTR that the then rebels of the Rwanda Patriotic Front attacked and killed Hutus who had sought refuge in the vicinity of Kigali during the genocide. It is estimated that there were 300,000 refugees attacked at the time. He is the 24th witness in the Butare Trial.
15 September 2008: ICTR compelled to adjourn the hearing of the defense for the Nzuwonemeye trial. This is the second time in less than a week that trial has been adjourned because of late arrivals of the defense's witnesses. Major Nzuwonemeye is jointly charged alongside three other former senior members of the Rwandan army for their role in the genocide.
30 August 2008:The Appeals Chamber overturned the sentence of Tharcisse Muvunyi and ordered a retrial on one count. In 2006, Muvunyi had been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment after being convicted of genocide and incitement to commit genocide in Butare. He will be retried for incitement to commit genocide. Muvunyi had been held in custody for eight years for the killing of 20 to 20 Tutsi refugees in the Butare Hospital and for inciting Ecole Sous-Officers to commit rape.
29 August 2008: Appeals Chamber issues Judgment in Muvunyi case, annulling the sentence issued by the Trial Chamber and ordering a retrial with regards to the count of “direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” Muvunyi is to remain in custody while awaiting his retrial.
25 August 2008: The trial commences in the Setako case.
21 August 2008: President of the Tribunal assigns Trial Chamber I to the trial of Ephrem Setako. Setako, who served as colonel of the Rwandan armed forces during the 1994 genocide, has been indicted on six counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
10 June 2008: Dominique Ntawukulilyayo makes his initial appearance before the Tribunal and pleads not guilty to three counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
6 June 2008: Trial Chamber denies the Prosecution’s request to transfer the Kanyarukiga case to Rwanda. While noting that Rwanda has made notable progress in improving its judicial system, the Chamber remains unsatisfied that the accused will receive a fair trial if transferred.
5 June 2008: Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, a former Sub-Prefect of Gisagara in Butare, is transferred from Paris, France to the ICTR. Ntawukulilyayo is charged with three counts of genocide, or in the alternative, complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
28 May 2008: The Appeals Chamber issues its judgment in the consolidated case against Moinina Fofana and Alliue Kondewa, increasing Fofana and Kondewa’s sentences of 6 and 8 years, to 15 and 20 years, respectively. Fofana and Kondewa were both leading members in the Civil Defense Forces (CDF). Among the Prosecution's successful grounds of appeal was that the Trial Chamber erred in sentencing the two accused because it considered, as a mitigating factor, that the CDF was fighting to support a “just cause.” The Appeals Chamber agreed, holding that while a convicted person’s motives may be considered for purposes of sentencing, the particular motive of “just cause” cannot be considered a mitigating factor because international humanitarian law specifically removes a party’s political motive and the “justness” of its cause from consideration. Justice George Gelaga King issued a dissenting opinion in which he explained that he would not have convicted Kondewa on any of the eight original counts charged by the Prosecution, and that he would have let the Trial Chamber’s judgment against Fofana stand, as the latter did not enter an appeal.
3 April 2008: The newly established African Court for Human Rights, established under the Organization of African Unity Protocol, is being urged to negotiated with the UN towards the adoption of ICTR archives as a part of the completion strategy. Proponents believe that adoption by the African Court, also sitting in Arusha, would inspire African unity and a commitment to human rights protection.
20 March 2008: Michel Bagaragaza, who has been charged with charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and war crimes, is transferred back to Arusha from The Hague, The Netherlands. This follows a revocation of an application by the Prosecutor for referral of the case to The Netherlands after it became clear that the Dutch courts did not have jurisdiction to try the case.
12 March 2008: In the Seromba case, the Appeals Chamber overturns the conviction of Athanase Seromba for aiding and abetting genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity and substituted convictions for committing genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his role in the destruction of the church in Nyange Parish causing the death of approximately 1500 Tutsi refugees sheltering inside. The Appeals Chamber also increases Seromba’s sentence from 15 years in prison to life imprisonment.
4 March 2008: The Government of Rwanda and the United Nations sign an agreement on the enforcement of sentences imposed by the ICTR. Rwanda is the seventh country designated to receive persons convicted by the ICTR for the purpose of serving their sentences.
3 March 2008: The Appeals Chamber affirms the Trial Chamber’s conviction of Alex Tamba Brima, Brima Bazzy Kamara and Santigie Borbor Kanu, senior members of the armed rebel group the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). Each was convicted in June 2007 on six counts of war crimes (terrorism, collective punishments, outrages upon personal dignity, pillage, murder, and mutilation), four counts of crimes against humanity (rape, extermination, murder and enslavement) and one count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law (recruitment and use of child solders). Notably, the Appeals Chamber granted the Prosecution’s appeal against the Trial Chamber’s ruling that the Prosecutor had failed to properly plead participation in a joint criminal enterprise (“JCE”) because the purpose of the enterprise was not itself criminal in nature. However, the Appeals Chamber, in the interests of justice, saw no need to make further factual findings or to remand the case to the Trial Chamber.
2 March 2008: Vincent Rutaganira, who was sentenced on 14 March 2005 to 6 years in prison after being convicted of the crime against humanity of extermination, was released from the United Nations Detention Facility.
27 February 2008: In regards to the Rwamakuba decision, the acquitted is compensated the $2,000 awarded to him by the Appeals Chamber in September 2007 for reparations after having been arrested and detained for 8 years, “in violation of his rights.” Rwamakuba remains in Arusha until he can find a host country.
20 February 2008: Callixte Nzabonimana appears before the Tribunal and pleads not guilty.
18 February 2008: Callixte Nzabonimana, former minister of youth and sports in the interim Government of 1994 in Rwanda and also member of the Mouvement Républicain National pour le Dévelopement et la Démocratie (MRND), is arrested in Kigoma town, Tanzania. Nzabonimana is charged with six counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
11 February 2008: Leonidas Nshogoza appears before the Tribunal and pleads not guilty.
8 February 2008: Leonidas Nshogoza, the defense investigator indicted on contempt charges based on his alleged role in the Kamuhanda case, voluntarily surrenders to the Tribunal.
28 January 2008: Tribunal issues international arrest warrant for Leonidas Nshogoza, who served as an investigator for the defense team during the trial of the Prosecutor v. Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda case. Nshogoza is charged with contempt of the Tribunal based on allegations that he fabricated additional evidence and procured false statements for use in support of the appeal against conviction and sentence of Kamuhanda.
18 January 2008: Tanzania will form a joint task force with the ICTR to help complete the tribunal’s exit strategy. The ICTR has a deadline of December 2008 to complete all pending cases and 2010 for appeals. The relevant Tanzanian ministries will compose the task force, and will include members of the UN Court.
17 January 2008: The UN General Assembly budgets approximately $267 million (US) to the ICTR for the 2008-09 period. The tribunal is under a deadline to complete all pending cases by December 2008 and appeals by 2010.
16 January 2008: In the Ntwaukuriryayo case, the former sub-prefect of Gisagara, accused of having taken part in the 1994 Genocide, wins on appeal to keep from being transferred from the French system to be tried by the ICTR.
8 January 2008: ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow issues an indictment against Leonidas Nshogoza, a Rwandan lawyer working as a defense lawyers before the tribunal. The indictment does not reveal the charges against Nshogoza, although has he been accused of trying to influence a witness. He was arrested in 16 June and spent six months in jail before being released on bail.
7 December 2007: In the Karera case, the former Prefect of Kigali-Rural, François Karera is found guilty of genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity, and murder as a crime against humanity. He is sentenced to life imprisonment, with the detention center to be determined by the President of the Tribunal and the Government of Rwanda.
4 December 2007: In the GAA case, the accused known by the pseudonym of GAA, was judged and sentenced by Trial Chamber III. A plea agreement was reached wherein the accused plead guilty to: 1) knowingly and willfully giving false testimony under oath in the appeal of Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, and 2) contempt of the tribunal. The convicted was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment, with credit for time served. Significantly, this was the first sentencing by the ICTR or ICTY for a conviction of giving false testimony.
13 September 2007: In the Rwamakuba case, the appellate court holds that the $2,000 USD awarded to the Mr. Rwamakuba (acquitted) for compensation due to a violation of his right to legal assistance is appropriate while not explicitly allowed by the ICTR. However, Mr. Rwamakuba's appeal for monetary compensation on the grounds of "grave and manifest injustice" are denied because neither the Statutes or Rules of the Tribunal provide for compensation to an acquitted person.
22 June 2007: In the Nsengimana case, the trial begins for Rwandan Catholic priest Hormisdas Nsengimana, who faces charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity for murder and extermination during the 1994 genocide.
21 June 2007: The ICTR issues an arrest warrant for Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a Catholic priest believed to be residing in France, who is wanted on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for rape, extermination, and murder.
11 June 2007: In the Kayishema case, ICTR prosecutors request the transfer of Fulgence Kayishema to Rwanda to stand trial. This transfer would mark the first transfer of an ICTR case from the UN tribunal to a Rwandan jurisdiction, and is made possible in part by Rwanda’s parliamentary vote last week to abolish of the death penalty.
8 June 2007: Rwanda’s parliament votes to abolish the death penalty effective July 1, 2007. The decision may prompt the UN Tribunal in Arusha to transfer cases to Rwandan national jurisdiction.
1 June 2007: In the Bagosora et al. (Military I) case, closing arguments end.
28 May 2007: Closing arguments begin in the Bagosora et al. (Military I) case.
21 May 2007: In the Muhimana case, the Appeals Chamber confirms convictions of Mikaeli Muhimana for genocide, rape and murder as crimes against humanity and upholds his sentence of life in prison.
2 May 2007: Judge Vagn Joensen (Denmark) is sworn in as ad litem judge. Judge Fremr (Czech Republic) replaces Judge Flavia Lattanzi (Italy).
1 May 2007: The ICTR announces that Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, a former sub-prefect of Gisagara, in the southern Butare province, is wanted on charges of genocide, complicity in genocide and inciting the public to commit genocide. Ntawukuriryayo is one of 18 people still wanted by the ICTR; his name was not previously made public.
23 February 2007: In the Nzabirinda case, Joseph Nzabirinda, a former businessman and youth organizer in Ngoma commune, is sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Nzabirinda was accused of genocide or complicity in genocide, and the crimes against humanity of extermination and rape; however, he reached an agreement with the Prosecutor to plead guilty only to one count of the crime against humanity of murder as an accomplice by omission. Nzabirinda worked as an investigator with the Tribunal for the defence of the former prefect of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana, until November 2001, when the Registrar cancelled his employment contract on the grounds that he had provided forged documents.
7 February 2007: In the Renzaho case, the Prosecution closes its case against Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, former prefect of Kigali-ville, who is charged with six counts charging him with genocide, complicity in genocide, the crimes against humanity of murder and rape, and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II.
31 January 2007: In the Rwamakuba case, the Trial Chamber finds that André Rwamakuba — acquitted on all charges in September 2006 — had his right to legal assistance violated during the initial months of his detention due to the Registrar's failure to appoint him Duty Counsel, and orders that the Registrar provide him an apology and financial compensation of $2000, and "use all available means" to facilitate his temporary status in the State where is family is living.
22 January 2007: Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a former Seventh Day Adventist pastor in Kibuye, dies at 83. Ntakirutimana served ten years imprisonment for aiding and abetting genocide and the crime against humanity of extermination before being released from custody in December 2006.
18 January 2007: In the Bagosora et al. case, the defense rests its case.
18 January 2007: In the Media case, the Appeal Chamber concludes its hearings.
18 January 2007: In the Military I case, the Defense concludes its case.
16 January 2007: In the Ndindabahizi case, the Appeals Chamber upholds Emmanuel Ndindabahizi’s convictions for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his participation in a massacre at Gitwa Hill in April 1994, vacates his convictions for genocide and murder in so far as they were based on the killing of one victim at Gaseke roadblock, and upholds his life sentence.
8 January 2007: In the Renzaho case, the trial of Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, former prefect of and Chairman of the Civil Defence Committee for Kigali-ville, begins. Renzaho has pled not guilty to charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, the crimes against humanity of murder and rape, and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II.