The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Patrick Robinson, presiding, Judge Mehmet Güney, Judge Liu Daqun, Judge Andrésia Vaz, and Judge Carmel Agius, today heard oral arguments in the appeals filed by Yussuf Munyakazi and the Prosecution against the judgement pronounced by Trial Chamber I on 30 June 2010 and filed in writing on 5 July 2010.
The Trial Chamber convicted Munyakazi of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity based on his role in the killings of Tutsis at Shangi and Mibilizi parishes on 29 and 30 April 1994, respectively, and sentenced him to 25 years of imprisonment.
Munyakazi contends that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of fact and law and requests the Appeals Chamber to overturn his conviction or, in the alternative, to reduce his sentence. The Prosecution requests that the Appeals Chamber enter a conviction for committing genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity in relation to the events at Nyamasheke parish on 16 April 1994 and for participating in a joint criminal enterprise. It also requests the Appeals Chamber to increase Munyakazi’s sentence to life imprisonment.
Munyakazi was born in 1936 in Rwamatamu Commune, Kibuye Prefecture, Rwanda. In 1994, he lived in Bugarama Commune, Cyangugu Prefecture where he was a landowner and farmer. He was arrested on 5 May 2004 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility on 7 May 2004. In his initial appearance on 12 May 2004, Munyakazi pleaded not guilty to all charges.