Trial Chamber II today sentenced Emmanuel Rukundo former Military Captain in the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) to twenty five years imprisonment. Credit shall be given to him for time spent in prison.
The Trial Chamber II composed of Judges Joseph Asoka Nihal de Silva Presiding; Taghrid Hikmet and Seon Ki Park found Rukundo guilty of genocide, murder as a crime against humanity and extermination as a crime. The conviction of the Chamber is based on the participation of the accused in the killings of Tutsi civilians in the Gitarama prefecture. In mid-April 1994, Rukundo, with soldiers of the Rwandan army abducted and killed Madame Rudahunga and severely beat and injured her two children.
The Trial Chamber found that the Prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that Rukundo was present during the commission of the crime and the soldiers acted under his authority. Between mid-April and the end of May 1994, on at least four occasions Rukundo was found to have played an integral role in the abduction and subsequent killing of Tutsi refugees from the St. Leon Minor Seminary. Rukundo was also found to have sexually assaulted a young Tutsi woman.
In sentencing Rukundo for his role in the above crimes, the Trial Chamber considered his stature as a well known priest in the community to be an aggravating factor. The fact that the accused is an educated person was also considered by the Chamber as an aggravating factor .The accused was found to have abused his moral authority and influence to promote the abduction and killing of Tutsi refugees.
Rukundo was a parish priest in the Kanyanza Parish in Gitarama prefecture. In 1993 he became a military chaplain in the Rwandan Armed Forces. Emmanuel Rukundo was arrested in Geneva on the 12 July 2001and transferred to the UN Detention Facility on 20 September 2001. The accused was assisted by Aicha Conde lead counsel and Allison Turner.
The Prosecution was composed of Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow and Senior Trial Attorney William Egbe.