Rwanda: Hategekimana Convicted and Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

Trial Chamber II of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda composed of Judges Arlette Ramaroson, Presiding, Taghrid Hikmet and Joseph  Masanche, today convicted Ildephonse Hategekimana, former Commander of  the  Ngoma  Camp for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Hategekimana, who was a Lieutenant in Rwanda Armed Forces, was found guilty on  three  counts  of  genocide for killing of Tutsi at Ngoma Parish and at Maison  Généralice as well as crimes against humanity for murdering several others  and  raping  one  Nura Sezirahiga. The accused was acquitted of one count of complicity in genocide.

The trial Chamber explained that the sentence was reached after considering the gravity of each of the crimes for which the accused had been convicted as well  as  the aggravating and mitigating circumstances mentioned by the parties.  The accused will  remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending transfer to the state where he will serve his sentence.

Hategekimana’s trial  commenced  on  8  March 2009 and closed on 6 October 2009.  Over the course of forty-three days, the Prosecution and the Defence called a total of forty witnesses.

Hategekimana was arrested on 16 February 2003 in Congo Brazzaville, and was transferred  to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 19 February. He made his  initial  appearance  on  28  February 2003 during which he pleaded not guilty  to  all  the  charges  preferred against him. He was represented by Counsel  Jean de Dieu Momo from Togo and the Prosecution was led by William Egbe from Cameroon.