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Tharcisse Renzaho Given Life Sentence

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today sentenced Tharcisse Renzaho, prefect of Kigali-Ville and Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces in 1994, to life imprisonment. He was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II (war crimes) but acquitted of complicity to commit genocide.

The Chamber found that Renzaho supported the killings of Tutsis at roadblocks, which were set up following his directives. It concluded that he ordered the distribution of weapons, and that persons who received them then killed Tutsis. Renzaho also supervised a selection process at a refugee site called CELA, where about 40 Tutsis were abducted and killed.

At the Sainte Famille church, the Chamber found that he participated in an attack where more than 100 Tutsis were killed. He also made remarks encouraging the sexual abuse of women and was found criminally liable for rape that followed.

Renzaho was arrested on 29 September 2002 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and transferred to the UN Detention Facility on 30 September 2002. The trial commenced on 8 January 2007 and closed on 6 September 2007 after hearing 53 witnesses, including Renzaho, over 49 trial days.

The Prosecution team was led by Senior Trial Attorney Jonathan Moses, and included Katya Melluish and Ignacio Tredici. Renzaho was represented by Maître François Cantier (France) and Barnabé Nekuie (Cameroon). The case was heard by Trial Chamber I, composed of Judges Erik Møse (Norway), presiding, Sergei Alekseevich Egorov (Russian Federation) and Florence Rita Arrey (Cameroon).

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