ARUSHA - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) yesterday upheld a decision by a lower chamber to jail a former senior officer in the defunct Rwandan Armed Forces (Far) for 25 years for genocide.
Lt. Col. Aloys Simba was yet again found guilty of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity, the Tanzania-based UN tribunal said in a release.
“Simba was convicted by Trial Chamber I on 13 December 2005 for his participation in a joint criminal enterprise to kill Tutsi at Murambi Technical School and Kaduha Parish, in the prefecture of Gikongoro (now in the Southern Province) on 21 April 1994,’ the statement said in reference to the initial court’s ruling.
And whereas the Appeals Chamber dismissed Simba’s appeal against his convictions and sentence, it also rejected the Prosecution’s appeal against Simba’s acquittal for the massacres at Cyanika Parish and against the sentence of 25 years of imprisonment imposed by the Trial Chamber.
Col. Simba was a member of the Comrades of the ‘Fifth of July’ who participated in a coup that brought former president Juvenal Habyarimana to power in 1973.
He also served as a Member of Parliament from 1989 to 1993.
Simba’s sentence will reduce by at least seven years since he will be given credit for time served in the Tribunal’s custody.
He was arrested from Senegal on November 27, 2001, and his trial commenced on August 30, 2004.
The court said the convict will remain under its detention pending his transfer to the country in which he will serve his sentence.
Meanwhile, the court will today deliver one of the verdicts in one of the most prominent cases there. The Appeals Chamber will render its judgement in the famous media trial of three former media officials: Ferdinand Nahimana, Hassan Ngeze and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, all of whom were convicted in the first instance.
On December 3, 2003, Nahimana and Ngeze were sentenced to life imprisonment, while Barayagwiza was jailed for 35 years.
They were all found guilty of direct and public incitement through their media to commit genocide.
Nahimana and Barayagwiza formed part of the “initiative committee” of the Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles collines (RTLM), a hate radio that incited genocide, while Ngeze was a director and editor of a radical newspaper called Kangura.
The judgements will be broadcast live via the court’s satellite which can be accessed via www.ictr.org
The ICTR, which has hitherto completed about 30 cases since 1994 is racing against the clock as its mandate for first instance cases runs out next year, while the appeals are scheduled to be closed come 2010.