The Prosecutor v. Juvénal Kajelijeli
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||International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (Trial Chamber II), Tanzania
||Judgement and Sentence
||1 December 2003
- The Prosecutor
- Juvénal Kajelijeli
||Crimes against humanity, Genocide, War crimes
||crimes against humanity, ethnic group, extermination, genocide, intent to destroy, kill, Murder, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape, serious bodily or mental harm, Serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II, widespread or systematic attack
On 1 December 2003, Trial Chamber II of the ICTR delivered its judgment on the case against Juvénal Kajelijeli, former bourgmestre (mayor) of Mukingo. In its verdict on the 11-count indictment, the Tribunal found him guilty on three counts: genocide (count 2); direct and public incitement to commit genocide (count 4); and, extermination as a crime against humanity (count 6).
He was sentenced for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity with imprisonment for the remainder of his life, and with 15 years imprisonment for direct and public incitement to commit genocide. The sentences would be served concurrently. He was given credit of five years, five months and 25 days for time already spent in custody.
The Accused was acquitted of the following three counts: conspiracy to commit genocide (count 1); rape as a crime against humanity (count 7); and other inhumane acts of crimes against humanity (count 9). Earlier, on 13 September 2002, following a Defence motion, the Tribunal found that the Accused was not guilty of the two counts of war crimes—i.e. the charge of violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons (count 10); and causing outrages upon personal dignity (count 11).
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On 29 August 1998, the Tribunal confirmed an indictment dated 22 August 1998 against the Accused and seven others. On 6 July 2000, Trial Chamber II granted a motion for severance and separate trial filed by the Accused and ordered the Prosecutor to file a separate indictment pertaining only to that Accused. The Trial Chamber granted the Prosecution’s motion to amend the Indictment on 25 January 2001.
For his alleged involvement in the acts described in the amended indictment, the Accused was charged with conspiracy to commit genocide (Count 1) under Articles 6(1) and 6(3) of the Statute; genocide (Count 2) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); or alternatively complicity in genocide (Count 3) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); direct and public incitement to commit genocide (Count 4) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); crimes against humanity—murder (Count 5) under Articles 6(1) and 6(3); crimes against humanity—extermination (Count 6) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); crimes against humanity—rape (Count 7) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); crimes against humanity—persecution (Count 8) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3); crimes against humanity— other inhumane acts (Count 9) under Articles 6(1) and 6(3); serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II (Counts 10 and 11) pursuant to Articles 6(1) and 6(3).
On 13 September 2002, following the close of the case for the Prosecution, the Chamber granted in part a Defence motion for acquittal and entered a judgment of acquittal in respect of Counts 10 and 11 of the indictment (Violations of Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II of the Geneva Convention).
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The Accused appealed his convictions and sentence. The Appeals Chamber granted certain grounds of appeal and rejected others. In view of the serious violations of his fundamental rights during his arrest and detention in Benin and at the UN detention facility from 5 June 1998 to 6 April 1999, the Appeals Chamber ruled that the two life sentences and the 15 year sentence which were to run concurrently imposed by the Trial Chamber should be converted into a single sentence of imprisonment for 45 years.
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Legally relevant facts
The Indictment charged Juvenal Kajelijeli with 11 counts of crimes comprising genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The Indictment alleged that the crimes took place between 1 January and 31 December 1994 in the Mukingo commune and the neighbouring area within Ruhengeri prefecture (para. 17).
The Indictment alleged that the Accused served as bourgmestre (mayor) of Mukingo commune from 1988 to 1993 and was re-appointed bourgmestre in June 1994 until mid-July 1994. According to the Indictment, the Accused, in his capacity as bourgmestre, exercised authority over his subordinates including civil servants, members of the police communale and gendarmerie nationale, the civilian population of Mukingo commune and Interahamwe-Mouvement Républicain National pour la Démocratie et le Développement (MNRD) (para. 18).
It was also alleged that the Accused was a founder and a leader of the Interahamwe-MRND and that he consulted regularly with the national secretary general of the MRND, Joseph Nzirorera on military training, distribution of weapons and uniforms to Interahamwe and distribution of lists of Tutsis to be eliminated (para. 19).
According to the Indictment, from April to July 1994, the Accused commanded, organised, supervised and directly participated in attacks against Tutsis within the Mukingo commune and neighbouring areas and that he ordered and witnessed the rape and other sexual assaults of Tutsi females. The Accused was further being prosecuted for failing to exercise his authority to prevent or stop the killings of Tutsis in his commune and for setting up roadblocks (para. 20).
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Core legal questions
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- Whether the Accused was guilty of genocide for his role in the killing of Tutsis in Mukingo and Nkuli Communes in April 1994.
- Whether the Accused’s instructions to the Interahamwe at Byangabo Market on 7 April 1994 to exterminate the Tutsis amounted to direct and public incitement to genocide.
- Whether the Accused was guilty of murder, extermination, rape and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.
- What the appropriate sentence would be, in case the Accused was found guilty.
Specific legal rules and provisions
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- Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 6(1),(3), 22 and 23 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
- Rules 15bis(C), 40(A)(i), 40bis, 50, 51, 67, 73bis, 85(A)(ii), 89(A),(B),(C), 92bis(A),(B), 98bis, 101, 102(A) and 103 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
- Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II thereto
- Articles II and III of the Genocide Convention.
Court's holding and analysis
The Chamber concluded that the Accused was guilty of genocide under Articles 6(1) and 6(3) of the Statute for his role in the killing of Tutsis in Nukingo and Nkuli Communes and at the Ruhengeri Court of Appeal in Kigombe Commune (paras. 842-845).
The Accused was also found guilty of direct and public incitement to commit genocide (Count 4), pursuant to Article 6(1) of the Statute, for inciting the Interahamwe and the crowd to commit genocide against the Tutsi population (paras. 860-861).
The Trial Chamber dismissed Counts 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. Count 7 was dismissed by a majority, with Judge Ramaroson dissenting (paras. 798, 847, 887, 925, 928, 940).
The Chamber held that the Accused was guilty of extermination as a crime against humanity (Count 6) under Articles 6(1) and 6(3) of the Statute for his role in the extermination of Tutsis in Mukingo and Nkuli Communes and at the Ruhengeri Court of Appeal in Kigombe Commune (paras. 905-907).
After taking into account the general sentencing practice, the mitigating and aggravating factors, the sentencing ranges and the time served, the Chamber sentenced the Accused to life imprisonment for genocide, fifteen years’ imprisonment for direct and public incitement to commit genocide and life imprisonment for extermination as a crime against humanity. These sentences would run concurrently (paras. 968-969).
In her dissenting opinion, Judge Ramaroson considered that it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the Accused was guilty of rape as a crime against humanity for the rapes of Joyce, Kizungu, ACM, GDO’s daughter, GDT, GDF and her sister (para. 100).
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- G. Boas et al., International Criminal Law Practitioner Library, Vol. 1: Forms of Responsibility in International Criminal Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007, esp. pp. 184-185;
- D. Yu, ‘The Prosecutor v. Juvenal Kajelijeli Case No. ICTR-98-44A-T’, Human Rights Brief, 2005, Vol. 12;
- D.H. Wallace, ‘Recent Legal Developments: Criminal Justice Decisions of 2003 from various International Courts’, International Criminal Justice Review, 2004, Vol. 14, pp. 216-218.
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- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 78 UNTS 227, 9 December 1948, entered into force 12 January 1951.
- Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (GC I), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 35, entered into force 21 October 1950.
- Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (GC II), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 81, entered into force 21 October 1950.
- Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (GC III), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135, entered into force 21 October 1950.
- Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (GC IV), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287, entered into force 21 October 1950.
- Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (AP II), 1125 UNTS 609, 8 June 1977, entered into force 7 December 1979.
- Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR Statute), UN Doc S/RES/955, UN Security Council, 1994.
- Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR RPE), UN Doc ITR/3/Rev. 6, adopted on 29 June 1995, as amended on 8 June 1998.