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, heard the oral arguments in the appeals lodged by Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Augustin Bizimungu, François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, Innocent Sagahutu, and the Prosecution against the Judgement pronounced by Trial Chamber II on 17 May 2011 and filed in writing on 17 June 2011. The hearing of these five appeals took place from Tuesday, 7 May 2013, through Friday, 10 May 2013.
The Trial Chamber found Ndindiliyimana guilty as a superior of genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity, and murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II for crimes committed by gendarmes at Kansi Parish (Butare Prefecture) on 21 April 1994 and Saint André College (Kigali) on 13 April 1994. The Trial Chamber further entered a conviction for murder as a crime against humanity. Ndindiliyimana was sentenced to time served, and his immediate release was ordered on 17 May 2011.
The Trial Chamber found Bizimungu guilty of aiding and abetting genocide in relation to an attack in Rwankeri Sector (Ruhengeri Prefecture) on 7 April 1994. It further convicted Bizimungu as a superior of genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination, murder, and rape), and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II (murder and rape) for crimes committed by soldiers of the Rwandan army and Interahamwe in April, May, and June 1994 at the Josephite Brothers compound (Kigali); the École des Sciences Infirmières de Kabgayi, the Musambira Commune office and dispensary, the TRAFIPRO Centre (all Gitarama Prefecture); the Cyangugu Prefecture stadium; and the Butare Prefecture office and Episcopal Church of Rwanda (Butare Prefecture). The Trial Chamber sentenced Bizimungu to 30 years of imprisonment.
The Trial Chamber convicted Nzuwonemeye and Sagahutu for ordering and aiding and abetting murder as a crime against humanity and as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II in relation to the killing of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana on 7 April 1994. The Trial Chamber further convicted Nzuwonemeye as a superior of murder as a crime against humanity and as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II with respect to the killing of Belgian UNAMIR peacekeepers at Camp Kigali on 7 April 1994. In relation to the same event, Sagahutu was found guilty as a superior of murder as a crime against humanity as well as for ordering and aiding and abetting murder as a serious violation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II. The Trial Chamber sentenced both Nzuwonemeye and Sagahutu to 20 years of imprisonment.
Ndindiliyimana, Bizimungu, Nzuwonemeye, and Sagahutu contend that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of law and fact and request the Appeals Chamber to overturn their convictions. Bizimungu, Nzuwonemeye, and Sagahutu request in the alternative that the Appeals Chamber order a retrial or reduce their sentences. The Prosecution submits that the Trial Chamber erred in law and fact in acquitting Ndindiliyimana and Bizimungu in relation to several crimes and seeks the reversal of these acquittals. The Prosecution further requests the Appeals Chamber to increase the respective sentences of Ndindiliyimana, Bizimungu, Nzuwonemeye, and Sagahutu.
At the time of the relevant events, Ndindiliyimana was the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan gendarmerie. Bizimungu was appointed commander of military operations for Ruhengeri Sector in January 1994 and, on 16 April 1994, became Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army. He assumed this position on 19 April 1994. Nzuwonemeye was the commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, and Sagahutu served as the commander of Squadron A of this battalion.