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The Appeals Chamber Hears Oral Arguments in the Nzabonimana Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Mehmet Güney, presiding, Judge William H. Sekule, Judge Arlette Ramaroson, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, and Judge Koffi Kumelio A. Afande, heard today oral arguments regarding the appeals by Callixte Nzabonimana and the Prosecution against the Judgement rendered by Trial Chamber III of the Tribunal on 31 May 2012.

The Trial Chamber found that Nzabonimana instigated genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity at Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994 resulting in the killings of Tutsis at Nyabikenke commune office on 15 April 1994. Nzabonimana was also convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide based on two agreements to commit genocide in Gitarama préfecture. Further, the Trial Chamber found him guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on his speeches at Butare trading centre on 12 April 1994, Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994, and at Murambi training centre on 18 April 1994. Nzabonimana was sentenced to a single term of life imprisonment.

Nzabonimana contends that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of law and fact and requests that the Appeals Chamber overturn his convictions and acquit him on all counts or reduce his sentence. The Prosecution argues that the Trial Chamber erred in not convicting Nzabonimana on the basis of: (i) committing or ordering genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for the killings at the Nyabikenke communeoffice on 15 April 1994; and (ii) aiding and abetting genocide for the killing of Tutsis in Rutobwe communethrough the forcible release of prisoners.

Nzabonimana was born in Kavumu secteur, Nyabikenke commune, Gitarama préfecture, Rwanda. He served as the Rwandan Minister of Youth and Associative Movements from 8 April 1994 to mid-July 1994 and as the Chairman of the Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement in Gitaramapréfecture during the events.

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