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Rwanda tribunal sentences ex-army officer to 25 years for genocide

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Thursday convicted [judgment summary, PDF] ex-army officer Ephrem Setako [case materials; Trial Watch profile] on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and murder and sentenced him [press release] to 25 years in prison. The tribunal found that Setanko, a lieutenant colonel in the Rwandan Army who was also head of the legal affairs division of the Ministry of Defense, ordered the killing of around 50 Hutus at a military camp in northern Rwanda between April and May 1994. He was acquitted of complicity to commit genocide, murder as a crime against humanity, and pillage as a war crime.

Setako went on trial [JURIST report] before the ICTR in 2008. He was arrested in the Netherlands in February 2004, and later transferred to a UN detention facility. He subsequently pleaded not guilty [press release]. Earlier this month, the tribunal convicted another ex-army officer, Tharcise Muvunyi [case materials; Trial Watch Profile], on similar charges [JURIST report] and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. There are currently 24 cases in progress [ICTR materials], and two others await trial. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive] between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples, in which nearly 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, were killed.

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