The Appeals Chamber of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, today, unanimously rejected the Prosecutor appeal and confirmed the Trial Chamber’s judgments that, on 25 February 2004, acquitted André Ntagerura, Minister of Transportation and Communications in the Interim Government, and Emmanuel Bagambiki, the Préfet of Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The Appeals Chamber indicated that reasons for its decision will follow at a later stage.
During the Appeals hearing, the Prosecutor argued that there must be a new trial for Ntagerura and Bagambiki and that in the case of Bagambiki convictions based on proven facts were being sought.
The Appeals Chamber is composed of Judges Fausto Pocar (Italy), presiding, Mehmet Güney (Turkey), Andrésia Vaz (Senegal), Theodor Meron (United States of America) and Wolfgang Schomburg (Germany).
On 25 February 2004, the former Trial Chamber III composed of Lloyd George Williams, presiding; Yakov Ostrovsky and Pavel Dolenc found Ntagerura and Bagambiki not guilty on all counts .
In that Judgment, the Trial Chamber noted that the Prosecutor did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the allegations in the indictment asserting criminal responsibility on Ntagerura’s part. It also ruled that there was no credible evidence that he expressed public support for the killings or that he acted as supervisor in Cyangugu Prefecture in 1994.
The Chamber also found that the Prosecutor failed to prove the allegations supporting the crime of genocide against Bagambiki or to convincingly demonstrate that he should be held criminally responsible for the crimes based on his role as a principal perpetrator, an accomplice, or a superior.
Ntagerura was arrested in Cameroon on 27 March 1996 and transferred to Arusha on 23 January 1997. He was accused with six counts: genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and to Additional Protocol II, and two counts of complicity in genocide.
Bagambiki was arrested in Togo on 5 June 1998 and transferred to Arusha on 10 July 1998. He was accused with six counts: genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, and imprisonment) and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.