The Appeals Chamber of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today rendered two judgements; affirming Simon Bikindi’s conviction and sentence of 15 years in prison and reversing a number of convictions of Simèon Nchamihigo and reducing his sentence to 40 years instead of imprisonment for the remainder of his life.
On 2 December 2008 Trial Chamber III found Bikindi a former singer, composer and leader of a ballet troupe called the “Irindiro” guilty of single count of direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on public exhortations to kill Tutsis, which he made on the Kivumu-Kayove road in Gisenyi prefecture in late June 1994.
The Appeals Chamber composed of Judges Patrick Robinson, presiding, Mehmet Güney, Fausto Pocar, Liu Daqun, and Theodor Meron, dismissed the appeals of both Bikindi and the Prosecution in their entirety. He is to remain in the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania, pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence. Bikindi was arrested in The Netherlands on 12 July 2001 and transferred to the Tribunal on 27 March 2002.
In the Nchamihigo case, the Appeals Chamber composed of Judges Patrick Robinson, presiding, Fausto Pocar, Liu Daqun, Theodor Meron, and Carmel Agius allowed Mr. Nchamihigo’s appeal in part. Judges Fausto Pocar and Liu Daqun appended partially dissenting opinions. Nchamihigo was Deputy Prosecutor in Cyangugu prefecture in 1994.
The Appeals Chamber reversed Nchamihigo’s convictions rendered by Trial Chamber III on 24 September 2008 for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity for aiding and abetting the killing of Joséphine Mukashema, Hélène and Marie. It also reversed his conviction for genocide in relation to instigating the killings of refugees taken from Kamarampaka stadium on 16 April 1994 and for instigating the killings at Shangi parish and Hanika parish. It further reversed his convictions for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity in relation to instigating the massacre at Mibilizi parish and hospital and the massacre at Nyakanyinya school.
The Appeals Chamber then affirmed Nchamihigo’s convictions for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for instigating killings, including those of Karangwa, Dr. Nagafizi and Ndayisaba’s family on or about 7 April 1994 and for instigating the massacre in Gihundwe sector on 14 or 15 April 1994. It also affirmed his conviction for other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity for ordering the attack on Jean de Dieu Gakwandi. Finally, it affirmed his convictions for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity for instigating the killing of Father Boneza.
Nchamihigo is to remain in the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania, pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence. Nchamihigo was arrested in Arusha by Tanzanian authorities on 19 May 2001 at the request of the ICTR Prosecutor. He was transferred to the Tribunal’s Detention Facility on 25 May 2001.