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ICTR finds defense investigator guilty of contempt in witness bribery case

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] has convicted and sentenced [press release] a former defense investigator to 10 months in prison for one count of contempt of court. Three Tribunal judges found Thursday that Leonidas Nshogoza [case materials] committed contempt "by repeatedly meeting with and disclosing the protected information of two witnesses, ... in knowing violation of, or with a reckless indifference to the protective measures ordered by the Kamahunda Trial Chamber on 7 July 2000." Nsohogoza was acquitted of one more count of contempt and two counts of attempt to commit contempt of the Tribunal as the Prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Nshogoza made bribe payments to two witnesses. He was released by the court since he was credited jail time served while awaiting judicial procedures since February 2008, and because the court considered his condition as a father of three despite other aggravating factors in the circumstances.

Nshogoza pleaded not guilty [JURIST news report] in February. He was arrested in June 2007 for allegedly bribing witnesses, fabricating evidence and "interfering in the administration of justice" during an appeal of the 2004 conviction [JURIST report] of former Rwandan Higher Education Minister Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda [TrialWatch profile]. Kamuhanda is currently serving two life sentences [IRIN report] for genocide and extermination. 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.

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