1 July 2010

Rwanda: ICTR Hands Munyakazi 25 Years Over Genocide

Kigali — The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) yesterday sentenced former businessman Yusuf Munyakazi to 25 years in jail for Genocide.

The 75 year old was charged with Genocide, Complicity in Genocide as an alternative to Genocide, and Extermination as a Crime against Humanity.

According to an ICTR press statement sent to The New Times yesterday, the chamber presided over by judge Florence Rita Arrey, 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 judges also ruled based on circumstantial evidence that Munyakazi intended to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group in whole or in part," the statement reads in part.

Munyakazi's charges were centred around events between April 11 and May 14 1994, in Cyangugu and Kibuye, in which Munyakazi allegedly incited and participated in acts of violence against Tutsi refugees.

Reacting to the sentence, the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga said; "The conviction is important even before sentencing comes, it establishes guilty and ascertains truth, however, the lenient sentencing in a situation where it is not contextually compelling is inconsistent with the gravity of the crime."

Munyakazi will remain in custody in the UN detention Facility in Arusha until his transfer to a country where he will serve his sentence.

He was arrested on May 5 2004 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility two days later.

In his initial appearance on 12 May 2004, Munyakazi pleaded not guilty. Munyakazi's defense team was led by Jwani Mwaikusa and the Prosecution was led by Richard Karegyesa.

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