NGIRABATWARE, Augustin  (MICT-12-29)

In July 1990, Ngirabatware was appointed Minister of Planning, a position he retained as part of the Interim Rwandan Government in April 1994. He was also a member of the Préfecture Committee of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (“MRND”) political party in Gisenyi Préfecture, the National Committee of the MRND, and the technical committee of Nyamyumba Commune.

Indictment

Initial indictment filed on 28 September 1999. Operational indictment filed on 14 April 2009.

Arrest

Arrested on 17 September 2007 in Germany. Transferred to the ICTR on 8 October 2009.

ICTR Trial Chamber Judgement

Delivered on 20 December 2012.

  • Judge William H. Sekule (Presiding)
  • Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa
  • Judge Mparany Mamy Richard Rajohnson

The Trial Chamber convicted Ngirabatware of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, instigating and aiding and abetting genocide and, under the extended form of joint criminal enterprise (“JCE”), rape as a crime against humanity. He was sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment.

MICT Appeals Chamber
  • Judge Theodor Meron (Presiding)
  • Judge Bakone Justice Moloto
  • Judge Christoph Flügge
  • Judge Burton Hall
  • Judge Liu Daqun

MICT Appeals Chamber Judgement

Delivered on 18 December 2014.

The Appeals Chamber reversed Ngirabatware’s conviction for rape as a crime against humanity under the extended form of JCE and affirmed his remaining convictions. In light of the reversal, the Appeals Chamber reduced Ngirabatware’s sentence to 30 years of imprisonment.

Request for Review of Appeal Judgement

Granted on 19 June 2017.

On 8 July 2016, Ngirabatware requested the MICT to review the Appeal Judgement. On 25 July 2016, the President assigned a bench of the Appeals Chamber to consider the request for review.
MICT Appeals Chamber assigned to Review of Judgement
  • Judge Theodor Meron (Presiding)
  • Judge Joseph E. Chiondo Masanche
  • Judge Aydin Sefa Akay
  • Judge Aminatta Lois Runeni N’gum
  • Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam

Status of the Case

Review of the Appeal Judgement is ongoing.

Case Background Information

Indictment

Augustin Ngirabatware was charged by the ICTR with the crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and extermination and rape as crimes against humanity throughout Rwanda, between 1 January and 17 July 1994.

Ngirabatware was alleged to bear individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 6(1) of the ICTR Statute for instigating, ordering, committing, including through participation in a JCE, or otherwise aiding and abetting various persons to plan or commit the crimes charged.

The indictment also alleged that Ngirabatware was responsible as a superior pursuant to Article 6(3) of the ICTR Statute for the crimes of genocide or complicity in genocide.

One count of conspiracy to commit genocide*
One count of genocide
One count of complicity in genocide
One count of direct and public incitement to commit genocide
Two counts of crimes against humanity
  • Extermination (Count 5)
  • Rape (Count 6)

*The ICTR Prosecution later dropped this count.

ICTR Trial Chamber Judgement

On 20 December 2012, Trial Chamber II of the ICTR convicted Augustin 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.

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 JCE, 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 35 years of imprisonment.

Start of ICTR Trial

23 September 2009

Prosecution Case

Started

23 September 2009

Closed

31 August 2010

Defence Case

Started

16 November 2010

Closed

22 February 2012

Closing Arguments

Started

23 July 2012

Closed

25 July 2012

ICTR Trial Chamber Judgement

20 December 2012

Verdict

35 years of imprisonment

MICT Appeals Chamber Judgement

Augustin Ngirabatware filed an appeal before the Mechanism challenging his convictions and sentence.

On 18 December 2014, the Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism unanimously affirmed Ngirabatware’s conviction for direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

A majority of the Appeals Chamber also affirmed his conviction for instigating and aiding and abetting genocide. However, the Appeals Chamber found that the ICTR Trial Chamber erred in expanding the charges regarding Ngirabatware’s contribution to a JCE to exterminate the Tutsis. The Appeals Chamber found that, since the Prosecution failed to prove at trial Ngirabatware’s contribution to the common purpose of exterminating the Tutsi civilian population pleaded under the count of extermination, Ngirabatware’s conviction for rape pursuant to the extended form of JCE could not be upheld. As a consequence, the Appeals Chamber unanimously reversed Ngirabatware’s conviction for rape as a crime against humanity under the extended form of JCE.

In light of this reversal, the Appeals Chamber reduced Ngirabatware’s sentence to a term of 30 years of imprisonment.

Review

On 8 July 2016, Augustin Ngirabatware filed before the Mechanism a request for review of the Appeal Judgement. On 25 July 2016, Judge Theodor Meron, President of the Mechanism, assigned a bench of the Appeals Chamber of the Mechanism to consider the request for review.

On or around 21 September 2016, Judge Aydin Sefa Akay, one of the Judges assigned as a member of the Appeals bench to consider Ngirabatware’s request for review, was detained in Turkey in relation to allegations connected with the events of July 2016 directed against the constitutional order of Turkey. On 10 November 2016, Ngirabatware filed a motion requesting: (i) an order to the Government of Turkey to cease its prosecution of Judge Akay so that he could resume his judicial functions in Ngirabatware’s review proceedings; and (ii) Ngirabatware’s temporary provisional release.

On 31 January 2017, Judge Meron, as the Pre-Review Judge in the Ngirabatware case, ordered the Government of Turkey to cease all legal proceedings against Judge Akay and to take all necessary measures to ensure Judge Akay’s release from detention no later than 14 February 2017, so that Judge Akay could resume his judicial functions in this case. In that same order, the Pre‑Review Judge denied Ngirabatware’s request for temporary provisional release on the basis that, as Pre-Review Judge, he lacked the competence to entertain a request for temporary provisional release.

On 6 March 2017, having determined that the Government of Turkey had failed to comply with the order of 31 January 2017, the Pre-Review Judge issued a decision on the Government of Turkey’s non-compliance with the 31 January 2017 order. On 9 March 2017, the President of the Mechanism notified the United Nations Security Council of the failure of the Government of Turkey to comply with the 31 January order and release Judge Akay.

On 3 April 2017, Ngirabatware filed a motion requesting that contempt proceedings be initiated against the President and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Turkey. On 26 April 2017, the Pre-Review Judge dismissed the request on the grounds that the Mechanism had taken appropriate measures to address the Republic of Turkey’s non‑compliance by referring the matter to the United Nations Security Council and because the rule related to contempt was not applicable in this instance.

Despite the formal assertion of diplomatic immunity by the United Nations, Judge Akay was convicted and sentenced to a term of seven years and six months of imprisonment by a Turkish criminal court in Ankara on 14 June 2017. Following Judge Akay’s provisional release from detention pending his appeal, Judge Akay confirmed to the Mechanism his ability and willingness to exercise his judicial functions in this case.

On 19 June 2017, the Appeals Chamber in its full capacity issued a decision granting Ngirabatware’s request for review of the Appeal Judgement. A review hearing will be scheduled shortly.

Statistics

ICTR trial days

154

 

Total exhibits admitted at trial

310

Prosecution

93

Defence

216

Chamber

1

Total witnesses called at trial

62

Prosecution

27

Defence

35

Chamber

0