The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today reversed two of Tharcisse Renzaho’s convictions but affirmed his sentence of imprisonment for the remainder of his life in view of the gravity of the convictions affirmed.
On 14 July 2009, Trial Chamber I found Renzaho guilty of genocide, murder and rape as crimes against humanity, and murder and rape as serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II. The Trial Chamber sentenced Renzaho to life imprisonment.
The Appeals Chamber composed of Judges Carmel Agius, presiding, Mehmet Güney, Fausto Pocar, Liu Daqun, and Theodor Meron allowed Renzaho’s appeal in part. Judges Mehmet Güney and Fausto Pocar appended partially dissenting opinions to the Appeal Judgement.
The Appeals Chamber reversed Renzaho’s convictions for genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II in relation to the rapes of Witnesses AWO and AWN, and Witness AWN’s sister. The Appeals Chamber also reversed Renzaho’s conviction for genocide for ordering the killing of Tutsi civilians at roadblocks in Kigali.
The Appeals Chamber affirmed Renzaho’s convictions for genocide for aiding and abetting killings of Tutsis at roadblocks in Kigali; genocide for ordering and aiding and abetting killings at CELA on 22 April 1994; murder as a crime against humanity for ordering and aiding and abetting the killing of Charles, Wilson, and Déglote Rwanga on 22 April 1994 and for his superior responsibility under Article 6(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal in relation to the killing of other mostly Tutsi men removed from CELA on 22 April 1994; genocide in relation to the killing of hundreds of Tutsi refugees at Sainte Famille on 17 June 1994; and for murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II for ordering the killing of at least 17 Tutsi men at Sainte Famille on 17 June 1994.
During the events of 1994, Renzaho was Prefect of Kigali-Ville prefecture and had the rank of Colonel in the Rwandan army. As Prefect, Renzaho was the highest authority in Kigali-Ville prefecture. Renzaho left Rwanda in early July 1994 and was arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 29 September 2002. He is to remain in the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania, pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence.