[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Monday sentenced [judgment summary, PDF; press release] former Rwandan Armed Forces lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana [case materials] to life imprisonment after convicting him on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The court found Hategekimana guilty [AFP report] of three counts of genocide stemming from his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], specifically in the massacre of civilian Tutsis in the Rwandan town of Butare. Hategekimana was also convicted on one count of crimes against humanity for his role in the murder of several others and one woman’s rape, and acquitted of one count of complicity in genocide. The ICTR retained jurisdiction [JURIST report] over Hategekimana in 2008 when it declined to transfer the trial to Rwandan domestic courts, citing concerns regarding the country’s criminal justice system.
Last month, the ICTR convicted [JURIST report] former Rwandan businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga on charges of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity and sentenced the 65-year-old to 30 years in prison. The ICTR’s work has recently been hampered by a lack of resources, leading the tribunal to ask the UN for assistance [JURIST report] in October. In September, the ICTR opened the trial of a former Kivumu mayor [JURIST report] charged in connection with deaths at a church in that town in April 1994. The tribunal has faced adversity since its creation, including the shooting death [JURIST report] of one of the senior defense lawyers in July. Earlier this year, Joseph Nzirorea, former president of the Rwanda National Assembly and secretary general of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development, died while on trial [JURIST report] for conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions [text].