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Callixte Nzabonimana Convicted and Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa, presiding, Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, and Judge Mparany Rajohnson, delivered its Judgement today in the case of Callixte Nzabonimana, former Rwanda Minister of Youth and Associate Movements.

The Trial Chamber convicted Nzabonimana of Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide and Extermination as a Crime Against Humanity. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Trial Chamber found that on 14 April 1994 at Cyayi centre, Nzabonimana instigated the killing of Tutsis taking refuge at the Nyabikenke commune office, and that between 15 and 60 Tutsis were subsequently killed. The Trial Chamber further found Nzabonimana guilty of three separate incidents of Direct and Public Incitement. Nzabonimana directly and publicly incited the killing of Tutsis at the Butare trading centre on or about 12 April 1994, at Cyayi centre on 14 April 1994, and at Murambi on 18 April 1994.

It also found Nzabonimana guilty of entering into two separate agreements to kill Tutsis in Gitarama préfecture. Nzabonimana entered into an agreement to kill Tutsis with members of the Interim Government on 18 April 1994, and entered into another agreement with Jean Damascene Ukirikyeyezu to kill Tutsis in May 1994

Nzabonimana was arrested on 18 February 2008 in Tanzania, and the trial commenced on 9 November 2009. The Prosecution presented a total of 20 witnesses, including one in rebuttal, and the Defence called 40 witnesses.  The trial closed on 12 September 2011, and the Trial Chamber heard closing arguments on 20 and 21 October 2011.

Nzabonimana was born in 1953 in Nyabikenke commune, Gitarama préfecture, Rwanda. During the events of April to July 1994, Nzabonimana served both as the Minister of Youth and Associate Movements in the Interim Government and as the chairman of the MRND party in Gitarama préfecture.

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