Jean Kambanda was Prime Minister of the interim government of Rwanda from 8 April until 17 July 1994. He exercised “de jure” and “de facto” authority and control over the members of his government, senior civil servants, senior officers in the military, and local government officials (préfets).
He distributed weapons, incited others to commit massacres, and failed in his duty to ensure the security of the Rwandan population. He supported Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines which lauded the massacres and extermination of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Kambanda was held criminally responsible because of his direct participation in the commission of massacres and because of his failure to stop or prevent them or to punish the perpetrators.
Jean Kamdana pled guilty to the six charges against him (genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity: murder and extermination). On 4 September 1998, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found him guilty of all charges and sentenced him to life imprisonment. On 19 October 2000, the Appeals Chamber rejected Kambanda’s appeal.