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The Appeals Chamber Hears Oral Arguments in the Kanyarukiga Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Patrick Robinson, presiding, Judge Mehmet Güney, Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge Arlette Ramaroson, and Judge Andrésia Vaz, heard today oral arguments regarding the appeals by Gaspard Kanyarukiga and the Prosecution against the Judgement rendered by Trial Chamber II on 1 November 2010 and issued in writing on 9 November 2010.

The Trial Chamber convicted Kanyarukiga for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity based on his participation in the planning of the destruction of the Nyange church in Nyange secteur, Kivumu commune, Kibuye préfecture on 16 April 1994, which resulted in the killing of approximately 2,000 Tutsi civilians. The Trial Chamber sentenced Kanyarukiga to thirty years of imprisonment.

Kanyarukiga contends that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of law and fact and requests the Appeals Chamber to overturn his convictions and acquit him on all counts, or substantially shorten his sentence, or order a new trial.

The Prosecution advances two grounds of appeal, arguing that the Trial Chamber committed an error of law in finding that planning cannot be a contribution to a joint criminal enterprise and that it further erred in determining Kanyarukiga’s sentence.

In April 1994, Kanyarukiga was a businessman who owned a pharmacy in the Nyange Trading Centre, located in Nyange secteur, Kivumu commune, Kibuye préfecture.  He was arrested in South Africa on 16 July 2004 and transferred on 19 July 2004 to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha.

He is represented by David Jacobs from Canada while the Prosecution is led by Ms. Holo Makwaia.

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