Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judges Dennis C.M. Byron, presiding, Gberdao Gustave Kam, and Vagn Joensen, today found Tharcisse Muvunyi guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide after his retrial and sentenced him to 15 years of imprisonment. The Chamber ordered that Muvunyi would remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending transfer to the State where he will serve his sentence. Muvunyi will receive credit for his time served since he was arrested in the United Kingdom on 5 February 2000.
Muvunyi was convicted by Trial Chamber II of this Tribunal on 12 September 2006 for several acts of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and other inhumane acts and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. On 29 August 2008, the Appeals Chamber set aside all convictions and the sentence, but ordered a retrial of one allegation of direct and public incitement to commit genocide concerning Muvunyi’s speech at the Gikore Center in Nyaruhengeri commune, Butare préfecture, in May 1994.
Muvunyi’s retrial commenced on 17 June 2009. The Prosecution closed its case on 22 June 2009, after calling 6 witnesses and tendering 21 exhibits. The Defence commenced its case on 24 August and closed on 17 September 2009, after calling 7 witnesses and tendering 11 exhibits.
Muvunyi was born on 19 August 1953, in Mukarange commune, Byumba préfecture. He is a soldier by profession. In 1994, Muvunyi was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan army and was stationed at the École des Sous-Officiers in Butare préfecture.
Muvunyi was arrested in the United Kingdom on 5 February 2000 and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on 30 October 2000.
He was assisted by Counsel William E. Taylor III and Abbe Jolles, both from the United States of America while the Prosecution was composed of Richard Karegyesa Senior Trial Attorney OIC Prosecution and Charles Adeogun-Phillips, Senior Trial Attorney.