ICTR: Prosecution requests life sentence for Ndahimana

ARUSHA - Prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), have requested a life sentence for genocide suspect, Grégoire Ndahimana, saying that he deserves nothing less. Ndahimana, a former Mayor of Kivumu Commune, now in the Western Province, is charged with Genocide or in the alternative, complicity in Genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity.

ARUSHA - Prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), have requested a life sentence for genocide suspect, Grégoire Ndahimana, saying that he deserves nothing less.

Ndahimana, a former Mayor of Kivumu Commune, now in the Western Province, is charged with Genocide or in the alternative, complicity in Genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity.

The suspect is specifically accused of planning and ordering the destruction of Nyange church, alongside other authorities, killing about 2,000 Tutsi refugees who had sought shelter in it on April 16, 1994.

“Wherever Gregoire Ndahimana told the people to go, they went, when he told them to shoot, they shot. Ndahimana should be sentenced to life imprisonment because of the acts performed by him and also in his capacity as Mayor of Kivumu Commune,’’ agencies quote Prosecution attorney Althea Alexis-Windsor, as telling the chamber on Wednesday.

Life is the heaviest sentence that can be awarded by the UN tribunal.

He added that Ndahimana betrayed the trust of his people when he ordered policemen to shoot at the church and that; “he even shot at the church himself.’’

Senior Trial Attorney, Holo Makwaiya, told the Chamber that prosecution witnesses proved beyond reasonable doubts that the defendant was “a man of the moment, he led the attackers by example, gave them means and facilitated every move.’’

Ndahimana was arrested in 2009 in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on August 21, the same year. 

The defence fielded 30 witnesses while the prosecution presented 15 witnesses.

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