The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] formally closed Thursday [UN News Centre report] after issuing 45 judgments. The ICTR, established in 1994, was the first international tribunal to deliver verdicts against those guilty of committing genocide. Within its 21 years, the ICTR sentenced 61 extremists to terms of up to life imprisonment for their roles in the Rwanda massacres. There were 14 acquittals, and 10 accused were transferred to national courts. An International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals has been established and eight fugitives remain at large.
In September a court in Toulouse, France, refused extradition requests [JURIST report] for Joseph Habyarimana, a Rwandan man, facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Last January two Rwandan police officers were sentenced [JURIST report] to 20 years in jail for the murder of a Transparency International anti-corruption activist. In July 2014 the ICTR unanimously affirmed [JURIST report] a 30-year jail sentence for former army chief Augustin Bizimungu for the role he played in the genocide. In December 2012 the ICTR convicted [JURIST report] former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware, sentencing him to 35 years in prison on charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity.