Genocide "mastermind" Bagosora gets life 18 Dec 2008
On an historic day for the ICTR, three former officers in the Rwandan army, including Théoneste Bagosora, have been convicted of genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Théoneste BagosoraTrial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has sentenced Théoneste Bagosora, Aloys Ntabakuze and Anatole Nsengiyumva to life imprisonment after they were found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for their respective roles in the 1994 genocide. In reading out the Judgement, the Presiding Judge noted that the three accused had been found not guilty of a “considerable number of allegations with which they were charged”.

A fourth accused, Gratien Kabiligi, was acquitted of all charges.

The Trial Chamber found that Théoneste Bagosora, who assumed the highest authority in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence in the days after the death of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994, was responsible for the killing of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana on 7 April 1994 as well as Joseph Kavaruganda, the President of the Constitutional Court. Prime Minster Uwilingiyimana was seen as a moderating force within the Government of Rwanda at the time.

Théoneste Bagosora was deemed responsible for the organised killings of Tutsis and moderate Hutus between 6 April and 9 April 1994. These killings were perpetrated by the Interhamwe militia and soldiers acting under the instructions of Bagosora.

Théoneste Bagosora was additionally found guilty in connection with the killing of ten Belgian peacekeepers who were killed on 7 April 1994.

As with Bagosora, former commander of the Operational Sector of Gisenyi (a region in north-western Rwanda) Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, a commander of the Para Commando Battalion at the time of the 1994 genocide, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Anatole Nsengiyumva was considered responsible for massacres at both universities and parishes as well as for the targeted killing of civilians in Gisenyi prefecture.

Aloys Ntabakuze was found guilty for killings which soldiers under his command carried out at numerous locations in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

Gratien Kabiligi, the Chief of Military Operations within the High Command of the Rwandan Army at the time of the genocide, was found not guilty of all charges after the Trial Chamber deemed that it had not been proven that Kabiligi had operational authority or that he targeted civilians.

ICTR, Arusha (Tanzania): please click to enlargeThe trial of the four senior officers, which became known as the “Military I” case, began on 2 April 2002. The case experiences several delays, including the trial being transferred to a different Trial Chamber in June 2003. In total, 242 witnesses were heard during the trial.

The parties in the case have 30 days to file a notice of appeal to the Trial Chamber’s Judgement and/or sentence.

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Research files / Dossiers de recherche

Théoneste Bagosora

Aloys Ntabakuze

Anatole Nsengiyumva

Gratien Kabiligi

Court documents

Summary of the Judgement

18 December 2008


Related news items / Informations complémentaires

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Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Hague Justice Portal partner Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Genocide 'mastermind' Bagosora sentenced to life imprisonment

18 December 2008

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