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Appeals Chamber Confirms Conviction of Kamuhanda

Today, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda confirmed the conviction of Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda for genocide and extermination and ordered the immediate enforcement of the two concurrent life sentences he received for the crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The Appeals Chamber dismissed all but one of the 15 grounds of appeal raised by Kamuhanda. The Appeals Chamber vacated the Trial Chamber’s finding that Kamuhanda instigated and aided and abetted genocide and extermination. However, the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber correctly held Kamuhanda responsible for ordering genocide and extermination and ruled that vacating the findings that Kamuhanda instigated and aided and abetted the crimes did not require the imposition of a lesser sentence.

On 22 January 2004, Trial Chamber II found Kamuhanda guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The Trial Chamber sentenced him to imprisonment for the remainder of his life. Kamuhanda supervised the killings in Gikomero commune, Kigali-Rural prefecture. He distributed firearms, grenades and machetes to the Interahamwe militia. He also led the attacks at the parish church and adjoining school in Gikomero, where several thousand Tutsi civilians were killed.

Kamuhanda was born on 3 March 1953 in Gikomero commune. From late May until mid-July 1994 he was Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Interim Government. He was also a member of the Mouvement Républican National pour le Développement et la Démocratie (MRND) in Kigali-Rural préfecture.

Kamuhanda was arrested in Bourges, France on 26 November 1999. On 7 March 2000 he was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Appeals Chamber is composed of Judge Theodor Meron (United States), presiding, Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen (Guyana), Judge Florence Mumba (Zambia), Judge Wolfgang Schomburg (Germany), and Judge Inés Mónica Weinberg de Roca (Argentina).

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