Accused of being one of the “masterminds of the genocide” which took place in Rwanda in 1994, Théoneste Bagosora was the directeur de cabinet, or executive assistant, to the Minister of Defence. Although Bagosora retired from the Rwandan army in 1993, he continued to act in this powerful position until he fled Rwanda in July 1994.
According to the Amended Indictment of 12 August 1999, Colonel Bagosora developed a plan whose intent was to “exterminate” the Tutsi civilian population. In executing this plan, Bagosora allegedly organised, ordered and participated in massacres perpetrated against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.
Bagosora was charged with conspiracy to commit genocide; genocide; complicity in genocide; and murder, rape, persecution, extermination and “inhumane acts” as crimes against humanity (including the murder of ten Belgium UNAMIR soldiers on 7 April 1994). Additionally, Bagosora is charged with the killing of civilians, outrages on personal dignity and “violence to life” as serious violations of Common Article 3 (Geneva Conventions).
Théoneste Bagosora was arrested on 9 March 1996 in Cameroon. Bagosora pleaded not guilty to all charges and was tried in the so-called “military case” at the ICTR alongside Gratien Kabiligi, Aloys Ntabakuze and Anatole Nsengiyumva.
The Trial Judgement was delivered on 18 December 2008. Bagosora was convicted of conspiracy to commit genocide; genocide; complicity in genocide; and crimes against humanity. Théoneste Bagosora received a life sentence.