ICTR to render two appeal judgments

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will soon deliver two judgments, The New Times has learnt. The judgments will be in the cases of convicted former musician Simon Bikindi and ex-Rwandan Deputy Prosecutor, Simeon Nshamihigo.

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will soon deliver two judgments, The New Times has learnt.

The judgments will be in the cases of convicted former musician Simon Bikindi and ex-Rwandan Deputy Prosecutor, Simeon Nshamihigo.

Bikindi was convicted in December 2008 on a single count of direct and public incitement to commit genocide by the first instance court, a crime for which he got 15 years of imprisonment.

His defence, led by Andrea O’shea of the United Kingdom, presented six grounds of appeal on September 30, 2009 and asked that the punishment be reduced to between two and 10 years.

Bikindi composed and performed songs aimed at inciting the Interahamwe militias and the civilian population to exterminate their Tutsi neighbors.

After his conviction, legal analysts, who spoke to The New Times on condition of anonymity, described the judgment as highly contradictory and the punishment as too minor, saying that the court should have handed him a heavier sentence.

Nshamihigo was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008 by the lower UN Court.

His lead defence Counsel, Denis Turcutte from Canada, maintained that the lower court erred in law and facts in its judgment and requested the conviction overturned, enter an acquittal on all counts and order an immediate release of the accused.

The appellant was convicted on four accounts of genocide, crimes against humanity (murder), crimes against humanity (extermination) and crimes against humanity (other inhuman acts).

The two decisions will be the first appeals’ judgments for this year. Seven more judgments on appeal are still pending before Chambers.

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