The Prosecutor and the Defence in Juvenal Rugambarara’s case today presented their closing arguments. The Prosecutor called on Trial Chamber II to sentence the accused to not less than 12 years imprisonment while the Defence prayed for a lenient sentence. The date for the sentence will be announced later.
During the hearing before Trial Chamber II the Defence called five character witnesses, including Rugambarara’s wife. The witnesses presented the accused as a saviour, a man who saved many Tutsis when he was serving as a medical officer and thereafter as Mayor of Bicumbi commune.
On 13 July 2007 Rugambara pleaded guilty to a single count of extermination as a crime against humanity before Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Following the guilty plea, the Trial Chamber found Rugambarara guilty of extermination because he failed, in his capacity as Mayor, to take necessary and reasonable measures to commission an investigation into the crimes committed in the commune and for the apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators over whom he had effective control, as a superior.
The accused was born in 1959 in Bumba sector, Tare commune, Kigali-Rural Prefecture. He lived most of his adult life in Bicumbi commune where he worked as a medical officer. He was appointed Mayor of Bicumbi commune on 4 August 1993 and served from 16 September 1993 until 20 April 1994.
The Trial Chamber II was composed of Judges Asoka de Silva ( Sri Lanka) (Presiding), Taghrid Hikmet ( Jordan) and Seon Ki Park ( Korea).
The Prosecution team is led by Charles Adeogun-Phillips (Nigeria/UK) who led the negotiations in two previous guilty pleas. The accused is represented by a Defence team composed of Mr. Maroufa Diabira ( Mauritania) and Mr. Boubou Diabira ( Mauritania).