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The Appeals Chamber Hears Oral Arguments in the Ntabakuze Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Theodor Meron, presiding, Judge Mehmet Güney, Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge Liu Daqun, and Judge Arlette Ramaroson, on 27 September 2011 heard oral arguments in the appeal lodged by Aloys Ntabakuze against the Judgement pronounced by Trial Chamber I on 18 December 2008 and filed in writing on 9 February 2009.

The Trial Chamber found Ntabakuze guilty as a superior of genocide, crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, persecution, and other inhumane acts), and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II (violence to life), based on the killings of Tutsi civilians perpetrated by his subordinates in Kabeza, at Nyanza hill, and at the Institut africain et mauricien de statistiques et d’économie in April 1994. The Trial Chamber sentenced Ntabakuze to life imprisonment.

Ntabakuze contends that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of law and fact, and accordingly requests the Appeals Chamber to overturn his convictions and order his release or, in the alternative, reduce his sentence.

Ntabakuze was born on 20 August 1954 in Karago commune, Gisenyi prefecture, Rwanda. In April 1994, he held the rank of Major in the Rwandan army and served as the Commander of the Para-Commando Battalion at Camp Kanombe in Kigali.

The case of Ntabakuze on appeal was initially joined to that of Théoneste Bagosora and Anatole Nsengiyumva and scheduled to be heard in March 2011, but was severed from that of Bagosora and Nsengiyumva in the interests of justice due to unavailability of Ntabakuze’s Counsel to present his appeal at the time.

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