Former Minister Nzabonimana sentenced to life imprisonment
Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, composed of Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa, presiding, Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, and Judge Mparany Rajohnson, delivered its judgement today in the case of Callixte Nzabonimana, former Rwanda Minister of Youth and Associate Movements.
The trial chamber convicted Nzabonimana of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The chamber found that on April 14, 1994 at Cyayi center, Nzabonimana instigated the killing of Tutsis taking refuge at the Nyabikenke commune office, and that between 15 and 60 Tutsis were subsequently killed. It further found Nzabonimana guilty of three separate incidents of direct and public incitement – Nzabonimana directly and publicly incited the killing of Tutsis at the Butare trading centre on or about April 12, at Cyayi centre on April 14, and at Murambi on April 18.
It also found Nzabonimana guilty of entering into two separate agreements to kill Tutsis in then Gitarama prefecture. Nzabonimana entered to kill Tutsis with members of the interim government on April 18, and entered into another similar agreement with Jean Damascene Ukirikyeyezu in May 1994.
Nzabonimana was arrested on February 18, 2008 in Tanzania, and the trial commenced on November 9, 2009.
Nzabonimana was born in 1953 in Nyabikenke commune in the then prefecture of Gitarama. During the Genocide against the Tutsis, he served both as the Minister of Youth and Associate Movements in the interim government and as the chairman of the MRND party in Gitarama.