The Appeals Chamber of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, composed of Judge Theodor Meron, presiding, Judge Bakone Justice Moloto, Judge Christoph Flügge, Judge Burton Hall, and Judge Liu Daqun, heard today oral arguments in the appeal filed by Augustin Ngirabatware against the Judgement pronounced by Trial Chamber II of the ICTR on 20 December 2012 and filed in writing on 21 February 2013.  This is the first appeal hearing of the Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals which was established by the Security Council of the United Nations in Security Council Resolution 1966 to take over functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia who are in the process of completing their mandates.

The Trial Chamber convicted Ngirabatware of committing direct and public incitement to commit genocide based on his speech at a roadblock on the Cyanika-Gisa road in Nyamyumba Commune on 22 February 1994. It also found him guilty of instigating and aiding and abetting genocide based on his role in distributing weapons and his statements at two roadblocks in Nyamyumba Commune on 7 April 1994. Ngirabatware was also convicted, under the extended form of joint criminal enterprise, of rape as a crime against humanity based on the rape of a Tutsi woman by members of the Interahamwe. The Trial Chamber sentenced Ngirabatware to a single term of 35 years’ imprisonment.

Ngirabatware contends that the Trial Chamber committed a number of errors of law and fact and requests that the Appeals Chamber overturn his convictions and enter a judgement of acquittal or, alternatively, reduce his sentence. The Prosecution responds that Ngirabatware’s appeal should be dismissed in its entirety.

Ngirabatware was born in Nyamyumba Commune, Gisenyi Prefecture, Rwanda. During the Indictment period, he served as the Rwandan Minister of Planning.