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Appeals Chamber Hears Oral Arguments in the Bikindi Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today heard oral arguments on the appeals lodged by both Simon Bikindi and the Prosecutor against the Judgement rendered by Trial Chamber III on 2 December 2008. Simon Bikindi, former singer, composer and leader of a ballet troupe called the “Irindiro”, was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment, having been found guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on public exhortations to kill Tutsis, which he made on the Kivumu-Kayove road in Gisenyi prefecture in late June 1994.

In his brief, Bikindi submitted that the Trial Chamber committed numerous errors of law and fact and requested the Appeals Chamber, composed of Judges Patrick Robinson, presiding, Mehmet Güney, Fausto Pocar, Liu Daqun and Theodor Meron, to overturn his conviction and order his release or, in the alternative, to revise his sentence and substitute it with an appropriate reduced sentence. The Prosecution opposed the relief sought and asked the Appeals Chamber to dismiss all Bikindi’s grounds of appeal.

In its submission, the Prosecution argued that the Trial Chamber erred in law and in fact in imposing a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. It sought an increase in Bikindi’s sentence, in the range of 30 years to the remainder of his life.

Simon Bikindi was born on 28 September 1954 in Rwerere commune Gisenyi prefecture. He was arrested in The Netherlands on 12 July 2001 and transferred to the Tribunal on 27 March 2002. The indictment against him was confirmed on 5 July 2001, and a warrant of arrest and transfer was issued.

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