Africa: Weekly Summary - ICTR Sentences Ex-Mayor to 25 Years in Jail, Bensouda Wants Kenyatta Trial Postponed

Arusha — The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested an indefinite postponement of the Kenyan President's trial. Meanwhile, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced an ex-mayor to 25 years in jail.


Increased sentence for an ex-mayor: The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday sentenced to 25 years in jail an ex-mayor who had been given only 15 years by the lower court. Grégoire Ndahimana, 60, was mayor of Kivumu, in the western prefecture of Kibuye, during the 1994 genocide. The five judges confirmed his conviction for genocide and extermination but with an increased form of responsibility.


Protest against an educational manual: The Collective of Civil Parties for Rwanda (CPCR in French) on Tuesday wrote to French Education Minister Vincent Peillon protesting against a school manual. The manual talks of "the genocide of Hutus by the Tutsis". The person responsible admitted there had been an "obvious error" and promised it would be corrected.


Paris orders transfer of man suspected of witness tampering: A French court on Wednesday ordered the transfer to the ICC of Narcisse Arido, who is suspected of witness tampering in the trial of Congolese former vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba. Arido, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has filed an appeal which nevertheless suspends his transfer.


Fatou Bensouda lacks solid evidence against Kenyatta: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has asked judges to postpone indefinitely the crimes against humanity trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, which had been set for February 5. Kenyatta is charged in connection with post-election violence in 2007-2008. In a statement issued Thursday, Fatou Bensouda said the decision came after one of the prosecution witnesses in the Kenyatta case indicated he was no longer willing to testify and a key second witness this month confessed to giving false evidence. She said she now needs time to gather more evidence and decide if she has enough to go to trial.


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