Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today sentenced Callixte Kalimanzira, former Directeur de Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior, to 30 years’ imprisonment. The Trial Chamber composed of Judges Dennis Byron, Presiding, Gberdao Gustave Kam and Vagn Joensen found Kalimanzira guilty of genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. Kalimanzira is entitled to credit for the time he spent in detention.
In its Judgement, the Chamber noted that on 23 April 1994, Kalimanzira went to Kabuye hill in Butare préfecture with soldiers and policemen, where thousands of Tutsi refugees were attacked and killed, resulting in an enormous human tragedy. Kalimanzira’s role in luring Tutsis to Kabuye hill and his subsequent assistance in providing armed reinforcements substantially contributed to the overall attack. The Chamber found Kalimanzira guilty beyond reasonable doubt of aiding and abetting genocide at Kabuye hill.
In addition, the Chamber found Kalimanzira guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide on several occasions, including at the Jaguar roadblock, the Kajyanama roadblock, and the Nyabisagara football field on different dates in April 1994, and at the Gisagara marketplace at the end of May 1994.The Chamber also found that the influence Kalimanzira derived from his prominent status in Butare society, and his status within the Ministry of the Interior, made it likely that others would follow his example, which served as a factor aggravating his crimes. Most significantly, by encouraging Tutsi refugees to gather at Kabuye hill where he knew they would be killed in the thousands, he abused the public’s trust that he, like other officials, would protect them.
The Tribunal took custody of Kalimanzira, who voluntarily surrendered, on 8 November 2005. Kalimanzira’s trial started on 5 May 2008. The Prosecution closed its case on 30 June 2008, after having called 24 witnesses. The Defence case commenced on 17 November 2008; 42 witnesses were called, including the Accused. The Prosecution team was led by Christine Graham. The Defence team was led by Arthur Vercken and Anta Guisse both from France.
The expeditious delivery of this judgement will contribute to continuing efforts to streamline best practices in order to work toward the conclusion of all pending cases.