ARUSHA-The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) yesterday sentenced Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister for Family and Women Affairs and two other co-accused to life imprisonment for Genocide crimes.
Nyiramasuhuko was found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity (extermination rape and persecution, and war crimes.
"For these crimes, and considering all relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences you Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life imprisonment," Presiding judge William H. Sekule said.
Her son and a former leader of (MRND) militiamen Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, and Elie Ndayambaje, the former Bourgmestre of Muganza, Southern Province, also received life sentences .
Sekule ruled that Nyiramasuhuko conspired with other members of the interim government to commit Genocide in Butare, Southern Province.
The judge added that the former minister ordered rape at the Butare prefecture office.
“She had superior responsibility on the Interahamwe militia, which she ordered to commit the rapes at the Butare prefecture." Sekule said.
For Ntahobali, the judge ruled that he personally raped and murdered a Tutsi girl at Hotel Ihuliro, a place that earned itself the reputation of being one of the most terrifying roadblocks in Butare.
He is also accused of having ordered the Interahamwe to kill a Tutsi named Léopold Ruvurajabo at the roadblock.
Ntahobali was also found guilty of the crimes against humanity, extermination, rape and persecution, and the war crimes of violence to life and outrages upon personal dignity.
The chamber also found Ndayambaje guilty of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, the crimes against humanity of extermination and persecution, and violence to life as a war crime.
Three other co-accused in the ‘Butare trial’, former Butare prefect Sylvain Nsabimana was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment, while Alphonse Nteziryayo, a former Commanding Officer of the Military Police got 30 years in jail.
Joseph Kanyabatshi, the former Bourgmestre of Ngoma, Southern Province, was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment.
The three convicts were found guilty of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and genocide and violence to life as a war crime.
The judge thereafter ruled that all the convicted persons would receive credit for time served since their arrest, and shall be detained in Arusha pending their transfer to designated places of imprisonment.
Born in the Southern Province, Nyiramasuhuko was arrested in Kenya in 1997 and transferred to the ICTR.