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Gaspard Kanyarukiga Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

Kanyarukiga, a former businessman in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, was today convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. The accused however was acquitted on the alternative charge of complicity in genocide.

Handing down the sentence, Trial Chamber II composed of Judges Taghrid Hikmet, Presiding, Seon Ki Park and Joseph Masanche said it was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Kanyarukiga was criminally responsible under Article 6 (1) of the Statute for planning the killing of members of the Tutsi ethnic group at the Nyange Church and was therefore guilty of genocide.

Having found Kanyarukiga guilty of genocide, the Chamber therefore dismissed the count charging him, in the alternative with complicity in genocide.

With regard to extermination as a crime against humanity, the Chamber was satisfied that the demolition of the Nyange Church was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the Tutsi civilian population on ethnic grounds and that the accused knew that his acts formed part of this broader attack. The Chamber also found that the accused intentionally participated in a mass killing of Tutsi civilians amounting to extermination as a crime against humanity.

On 22 July 2004 Kanyarukiga entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him when he made his initial appearance. South African authorities arrested Kanyarukiga on 16 July 2004 at the request of the Tribunal and transferred him to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 19 July. Counsel David Jacobs from Canada represented the accused while the Prosecution was led by Holo Makwaia (Tanzania).

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