Former Rwanda mayor pleads guilty to crime against humanity in ICTR deal

Former Rwanda mayor pleads guilty to crime against humanity in ICTR deal

[JURIST] A former Rwandan mayor Friday pleaded guilty to a single count of extermination [press release], a crime against humanity, as part of a plea deal International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website] that eliminated eight other charges including genocide, torture and rape. Juvenal Rugambarara [Trial Watch profile] apologized for his actions during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [Wikipedia backgrounder], and promised to "join the rallying cry of those who say 'never again.'" The extermination charge stems from his failure as mayor to adequately investigate abuses or punish perpetrators.

Rugambarara was mayor of Bicumbi commune from 1993 until 1994. His trial began in 2003 after he was arrested in Uganda. It took two years for the plea deal to be negotiated with prosecutors. Rugambarara is one of several local Rwandan leaders who have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty [JURIST news archive] by the tribunal for their roles in the mass killings. UN News Service has more.