Kigali — The former Director of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Defence of the genocidal regime, Lieutenant Colonel Ephrem Setako, was yesterday sentenced to 25 years for Genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The 55-year old had been accused of Genocide, complicity to genocide, crimes against humanity including murder and extermination.
The court found him guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination) and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II (murder).
However, it acquitted him of other charges like complicity to commit genocide, murder as a crime against humanity and pillage as a war crime.
The Chamber found that Setako ordered the killings of 30 to 40 Tutsi civilians at Mukamira military camp in Ruhengeri, Northern Province on 25 April 1994 and around 10 other Tutsis on 11 May 1994.
In an Interview with The New Times yesterday, Ms. Ifeoma Ojemeni Okali the head of the Prosecution team expressed dissatisfaction at the sentence, saying that given the Genocide crimes Setako committed, he should have been handed a life sentence.
"We are not satisfied at all with the 25 years he was given. I'm sure the Prosecutor will appeal against it after looking at the reasons for which the twenty five years were given," she said in a phone interview from Arusha, Tanzania.
This is the second judgment rendered the court this year after that of former Rwandan military officer, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi, who was early this month sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of public incitement to commit genocide.
Setako has been in detention since February 2004 when he was arrested in Amsterdam at an asylum seekers' office and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha the same year.
The trial opened in 2008 and closed in June last year, after sixty trial days.
The Prosecution presented 21 witnesses and the Defence 34, including Setako. Closing arguments were heard on November 5 and 6, 2009.