The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Theodor Meron, presiding, Judge Liu Daqun, Judge Carmel Agius, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, and Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, today delivered its judgement on the appeals lodged by Augustin Bizimungu and the Prosecution.
On 17 May 2011, Trial Chamber II convicted Bizimungu of genocide, extermination, 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 based on attacks in Rwankeri Sector in Ruhengeri Prefecture, the Josephite Brothers compound in Kigali Prefecture, the École des sciences infirmières de Kabgayi,the TRAFIPRO Centre, and the Musambira Commune office and dispensary in Gitarama Prefecure, the Cyangugu Prefecture Stadium, as well as the Butare Prefecture Office and Episcopal Church of Rwanda in Butare Prefecture in April, May, and June 1994. The Trial Chamber sentenced Bizimungu to 30 years of imprisonment.
The Appeals Chamber affirmed, in part, Bizimungu’s convictions for genocide, extermination, 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 in relation to the Josephite Brothers compound in Kigali Prefecture, theÉcole des sciences infirmières de Kabgayi,the TRAFIPRO Centre, and the Musambira dispensary, and the Cyangugu Prefecture Stadium. However, the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred in its assessment of evidence of the killings in Rwankeri Sector, killings and rapes at the Butare Prefecture office and the EER, killings and rapes at Musambira Commune office and rapes at the Musambira dispensary and reversed his convictions based on these events. The Appeals Chamber also reversed Bizimungu’s convictions based on the Trial Chamber’s finding that he exercised superior responsibility over Interahamwe. The Appeals Chamber, nonetheless, affirmed the sentence of 30 years of imprisonment in view of the serious nature of the remaining convictions.
Bizimungu was appointed the commander of military operations for Ruhengeri Sector in January 1994 and, on 16 April 1994, was promoted from colonel to the rank of major general and appointed Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army, a position he assumed on 19 April 1994. He was arrested in Angola on 2 August 2002. On 7 February 2014, the Appeals Chamber issued an order severing the case of Bizimungu from that of Augustin Ndindiliyimana, François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, and Innocent Sagahutu.
This judgement brings the total number of appeal judgements rendered by the Tribunal to 41, disposing of appeals concerning 51 persons. The remaining caseload of the ICTR Appeals Chamber consists of four cases which concern 10 persons.