ICTR Prosecutor seeks life sentence for Gatete

Prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday requested the court to hand down a life sentence to the former Bourgmestre and Director in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Gatete. 

Prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday requested the court to hand down a life sentence to the former Bourgmestre and Director in the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Gatete. 

Gatete stands accused of six counts including Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, Extermination as a Crime Against Humanity, Murder and Rape. 

“The only sentence he deserves is life imprisonment for each offence he may be convicted of. There is no lesser sentence that can be given,” said trial attorney Drew White during his closing arguments. 

The Prosecution called for the conviction of Gatete, and imposition of a life sentence in what it argued was strong evidence presented against him. 

During the course of his trial, the prosecution called 22 witnesses while 27 witnesses testified for the Defence. The accused himself decided not to testify in his own defence.

Gatete was arrested on September 11, 2002, by the Congolese authorities acting on a warrant of arrest issued by the tribunal on 19 December 2000. 
He was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 13 September the same year and pleaded not guilty to the previous ten counts contained in the first indictment before its amendment.

Gatete, who also a long-serving Bourgmestre (Mayor) of Murambi, in the Eastern Province, is one of the suspects whom the ICTR Prosecutor had lined up for transfer for trial in Rwandan courts but this request was turned down by the trial chamber.

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