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Appeals Chamber Hears Arguments in Setako Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Patrick Robinson, presiding, Judge Mehmet Güney, Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge Liu Daqun, and Judge Carmel Agius, on 29 March 2011, heard oral arguments regarding the appeals by Ephrem Setako and the Prosecution against the Judgement rendered by Trial Chamber I on 25 February 2010 and issued in writing on 1 March 2010.

The Trial Chamber convicted Setako of genocide for ordering the killings of Tutsis at Mukamira military camp, Ruhengeri prefecture, on 25 April and 11 May 1994. Moreover, in relation to the killings on 25 April 1994, it convicted Setako of extermination as a crime against humanity and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. Setako was sentenced to a single term of 25 years of imprisonment.

Setako challenged his convictions and requested the Appeals Chamber to overturn them, quash his sentence, and release him. In the alternative, he requested the Appeals Chamber to order a retrial and his release on bail. Setako claimed that the Trial Chamber made numerous errors of fact and law.

The Prosecution raised three grounds of appeal and requested the Appeals Chamber to correct the errors and increase the sentence to life imprisonment.

At the time of the relevant events, Setako served as head of the legal affairs division of the Ministry of Defence. The accused was arrested on 25 February 2004 in The Netherlands and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility on 17 November 2004. His trial opened on 25 August 2008 and closed on 26 June 2009, after 60 trial days.

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