The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: ICTR Hands Former Minister 35-Year Jail Term

Photo: http://www.irinnews.org
Skulls of genocide victims at a memorial (file photo).

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) yesterday sentenced former Minister of Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware, to 35 years for his role in organising and carrying out the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The search for these fugitives will continue and will not cease and until they are found and brought to account before the Mechanism or before an appropriate national jurisdiction for trial

According a statement from the office of the tribunal's prosecutor, the court convicted Ngirabatware of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and of rape as a crime against humanity.

He was arrested in Germany in September 2007 but was transferred to the ICTR in Tanzania, over a year later.

"I think it is a good lesson for humanity to see that a former minister and prominent intellectual is brought to justice and sentenced to 35 years in prison for his crimes," Dr. Egide Karuranga, a Genocide survivor living in North America, told The New Times.

"It gives hope to the rest of the world that such bad leadership will never be tolerated again be it in Cambodia, Germany, Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia or anywhere on this planet," he said.

Ngirabatware's trial was the last substantial case at the Tanzania-based tribunal which has since been replaced by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, and the tribunal will now only hear appeal cases.

The tribunal's Chief Prosecutor Boubakar Jallow is quoted as saying: "The conclusion of the work of this phase of the ICTR or its final closure will not affect the tracking of the remaining fugitives whose cases have now been transferred to the Residual Mechanism."

"The search for these fugitives will continue and will not cease and until they are found and brought to account before the Mechanism or before an appropriate national jurisdiction for trial. We call on all states to fully cooperate with the Mechanism in securing the arrest and transfer of these fugitives."

Among the fugitives indicted by the ICTR and remain at large, is Genocide Financier Felicien Kabuga and other key fugitives like the former head of the notorious presidential guard, and Augustin Bizimana, the former Defence Minister.

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InFocus

Former Rwandan Minister Jailed for Genocide

Skulls of genocide victims at a memorial (file photo).

The former Minister of Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware, has been found guilty for his role in organising and carrying out the 1994 genocide. Read more »