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Trial Chamber Delivers Judgement in the “Government II” Case

Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, presiding, Judge Lee Gacuiga Muthoga, and Judge Emile Francis Short, delivered its Judgement concerning the four Accused in the “Government II” case.

The Trial Chamber convicted both Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza for conspiracy to commit genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. They were each sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment. Casimir Bizimungu and Jérôme-Clément Bicamumpaka were acquitted, and the Trial Chamber ordered their immediate release. Judge Short appended a partially dissenting opinion, finding that there was undue delay in the trial that warranted a five-year reduction in Mugenzi’s and Mugiraneza’s sentences.

Mugenzi and Mugiraneza were convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide for their participation in the decision to remove Butare’s Tutsi Prefect, Jean-Baptiste Habyalimana. Based on their participation in a joint criminal enterprise at the subsequent installation ceremony where President Théodore Sindikubwabo gave an inflammatory speech inciting the killing of Tutsis, the Trial Chamber convicted Mugenzi and Mugiraneza of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

Mugenzi was born in 1939 in Rukara commune, Kibungo prefecture. After founding the PL party on 14 July 1991, he became Minister of Commerce in July 1993. Mugenzi continued to hold this position in the Interim Government. He was arrested in Cameroon on 6 April 1999.

Mugiraneza was born in 1957 in Kigarama commune, Kibungo prefecture. After working as a prosecutor and in various ministries in Kigali, Mugiraneza was appointed Minister of Public Service and Professional Training in 1992. When the Interim Government was formed, he became the Minister of Civil Service. Mugiraneza was also arrested in Cameroon on 6 April 1999.

Bizimungu was born in 1951 in Nyamugari communeRuhengeri prefecture. He received his doctorate in public health in 1984, and was appointed Minister of Health from April 1987 until January 1989. He returned to this position from April 1992 until he fled Rwanda in July 1994. He was arrested in Kenya on 11 February 1999.

Bicamumpaka was born in 1957 in Ruhondo commune, Ruhengeri prefecture. He joined the MDR party in 1991 and was sworn in to the Interim Government as the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 9 April 1994. He was arrested on 6 April 1999, in Cameroon.

The trial commenced on 6 November 2003, and over the course of 399 trial days, the Trial Chamber heard evidence from 171 witnesses. Closing arguments were heard from 1 December through 5 December 2008.

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