The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday reaffirmed the convictions of catholic priest Emmanuel Rukundo, and that of a former director of cabinet in the Rwandan Interior Ministry, Callixte Kalimanzira.
It however reduced the priest’s jail term to 23 years from the 25 years that had earlier been served to him, and reduced Kalimanzira’s sentence from the 30 years he was served in June last year to 25 years.
“The Appeals Chamber, Judge Pocar dissenting, reduces the sentence of 25 years of imprisonment imposed on Rukundo by the Trial Chamber to 23 years of imprisonment to run as of this day,” presiding judge Fausto Pacar, pronounced on Wednesday in Arusha.
The Chamber confirmed the conviction of Rukundo after it found him guilty of having participated in the killings of Tutsis together with former Rwandan soldiers, at St. Leon Minor Seminary in the Southern Province.
On reducing his sentence, the tribunal found that the lower court had erred in law in qualifying some facts.
For Kalimanzira, the Appeals Chamber also affirmed his conviction on the grounds that he had aided and abetted Genocide at Kabuye Hill.
Last year, trial Chamber II of the ICTR found Rukundo guilty of Genocide, murder as a crime against humanity and extermination, while Kalimanzira was found guilty of direct and public incitement to commit Genocide on several occasions that included the Kajyanama roadblock and the Nyabisagara football fields in April 1994.
Rukundo was arrested in Switzerland in July 2001 and transferred to the ICTR detention facilities two months later. His trial began in November 2006.
Born in 1953, in Muganza Commune, Southern Province, Kalimanzira trained as an agronomist and held several top positions in the former Rwandan government.