Rwanda genocide tribunal sentences ex-interior minister to 30 years in prison
Rwanda genocide tribunal sentences ex-interior minister to 30 years in prison

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday sentenced [press release] former Rwandan interior minister Callixte Kalimanzira [ICTR case materials; Trial Watch profile] to 30 years imprisonment on charges of genocide and public incitement. The three-judge panel of Trial Chambers III found that, because of his position as a government official and high status in Butare society, Kalimanzira was responsible for luring thousands of Tutsi refugees [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] onto Kabuye hill, where they eventually met their death. Given the facts and circumstances of the April 1994 event, the ICTR held that Kalimanzira not only abused public trust but is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of aiding and abetting genocide. Kalimanzira was also convicted on charges of direct and public incitement [indictment, PDF] to commit genocide because of his involvement in other incidents that took place in 1994. Kalimanzira's trial began in May 2008 after he surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty [JURIST reports] in November 2005.

The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [HRW backgrounder; JURIST news archive] between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died. Last week, the ICTR began the retrial [press release; JURIST report] of former Rwandan army officer Tharcisse Muvunyi [ICTR case materials]. The ICTR had quashed [JURIST report] Muvunyi's 25-year prison sentence in August, ruling that there was insufficient evidence for his conviction on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. In March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon pledged his ongoing support [JURIST report] for the ICTR and stressed that the international community must continue to combat genocide.