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Rwanda genocide tribunal begins retrial of ex-army officer

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Wednesday began the retrial [press release] of former Rwandan army officer Tharcisse Muvunyi [ICTR case materials]. In August, the ICTR quashed [JURIST report] Muvunyi's 25-year prison sentence, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for his conviction on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. He now faces a retrial on a charge of inciting genocide. Prosecutors plan to present their case in three days and call five witnesses.

Muvunyi is accused [indictment, PDF] of participating in several public meetings during the months of April and May 1994, during which he and other local government officials allegedly called on the Hutu majority population to kill Tutsi civilians. Muvunyi, the former Commander of a Rwandan military school, was convicted [judgment and sentence, PDF; JURIST report] in September 2006 for his role in the ethnic separation and subsequent killing of orphaned children and the killing of at least 140 students and Red Cross workers. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [HRW backgrounder] between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died. In March, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] pledged his ongoing support [JURIST report] for the ICTR and stressed that the international community must continue to combat genocide.

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