20 December 2012

Rwanda: State Dept. On Conviction of Former Rwandan Minister Ngirabatware



Today, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) convicted Augustin Ngirabatware, a former government minister in Rwanda, of genocide, incitement to commit genocide, and rape as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The United States welcomes this ruling as an important step in providing justice and accountability for the Rwandan people and the international community. As the Rwandan minister of planning at the time of the genocide in 1994, Mr. Ngirabatware was accused of using funds from his department to finance the genocide. He was a fugitive from justice until his arrest in Germany in 2007. With the conclusion of this trial, judgments have now been rendered as to all of the 81 arrested persons who were tried at the ICTR. We commend the ICTR for carrying out its trials according to the principles of fairness and due process; and for its efficient steps towards completing its work.

There are still nine ICTR fugitives at-large, including three high level fugitives who will be prosecuted by the residual mechanism of the ICTR upon capture: Felicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya, and Augustin Bizimana. The other six fugitives are slated to be tried in Rwandan courts once they are captured. Yesterday's conviction sends a strong signal that the international community will not rest until the remaining fugitives are brought to account. The United States continues to offer monetary rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or transfer of all ICTR fugitives, whether those individuals will be prosecuted by the residual mechanism of the ICTR or in Rwandan courts. We urge all countries to redouble their cooperation with the ICTR so that fugitives can be arrested. Those who harbor fugitives obstruct justice and stand on the wrong side of history.

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