Tanzania: Former Rwandan Army Officer Jailed for Life over Genocide
Dar es Salaam---The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has convicted a former military officer to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of involvement in the country’s mass killings in 1994.
The Tanzania-based UN war crimes Court sentenced Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life in prison on Tuesday after finding him guilty of authorising the killing of Rwanda’s former Tutsi queen, Rosalie Gicanda, towards the end of April 1994, among ordering other murders.
Following a statement released by the court, Nizeyimana was found guilty of genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was criminally liable for his role in ordering attack in his position as captain of a military training school that resulted in death of thousands of primarily Tutsis.
"Having considered the gravity of the crimes... the chamber has the discretion to impose a single sentence and chooses to do so. Considering the relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences Ildephonse Nizeyimana to life imprisonment," the ICTR said.
Nizeyimana, 48, was arrested in Uganda in October 2009 and his 9-month trial since January 2011 saw the prosecution present 41 witnesses, while 44 in his defence, in the case that was heard by Trial Chamber III presided over by Judges Lee Gacuiga Muthoga (Kenya), Seon Ki Park (Republic of Korea) and Robert Fremr (Czech Republic).
The ICTR based in Arusha was formed to try perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide in which to date, the court has delivered judgements in 72 cases, of which 17 have appeals pending and 10 were acquittals.
During the 100-day massacre, 800,000 mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were butchered between April and June 1994 in the wake of the onslaught sparked by assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana when his plane was brought down.
Egypt: Mubarak in Coma as Reports Claim he is Dead
Cairo--Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak is reported to be on life support at a military hospital in the capital-Cairo. He is said to have suffered a stroke in prison on Tuesday, though other reports claim he was dead.
The state news agency MENA had initially reported that the 84-year-old Mubarak was “clinically dead” after he had a stroke at Torah prison where he was later moved to Maadi military hospital, where he was revived and put on life support.
Mubarak suffered a “fast deterioration of his health” and his heart stopped beating, MENA and security officials said. He was revived by defibrillation but then suffered a brain stroke and was moved from Torah Prison to a military hospital in Cairo.
Maadi is the same hospital where Mubarak’s predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was declared dead more than 30 years ago after being gunned down by Islamic militants. Mubarak ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years and was unseated by the 18-day uprising last year.
Mubarak was jailed for life early this month for his role in killing of protesters during the infamous uprising that deposed him from power. His health has been frequently reported to be deteriorating since his step-down in February last year, and in August he first appeared in court caged in bed to face trial.
Opponents and supporters gathered outside the military hospital throughout the night, where there is now heavy security. The ruling military council, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) has categorically denied claims that the former leader was clinically dead, calling on all Egyptians to exercise order.
The State TV Channel One has been airing archival footages and pictures of Mubarak as a young military pilot, war hero and during his early days in power when he was still popular.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of people held protests in Cairo’s symbolic Tahrir Square against a move by the interim military rulers to assume new powers. The rally was called by the Muslim Brotherhood party which also has claimed victory in the presidential run-off polls held last week, ahead of the official announcement of the poll results on Thursday.
The other contender Ahmed Shafiq a former prime minister under Mubarak has also claimed victory against Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi in the second round of the vote in which the initial one was held in may, attracting 13 candidates, pitting Islamists against secularists, and revolutionaries against the former Mubarak-era ministers.
The Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to retry Mubarak on they assume power, insisting that he should face a death penalty.
The interim military rulers who took over power after Mubarak stepped down earlier assured of a fair vote and peaceful transition of power to the elected leader. But the military is keen to have its privileges and influences preferably in the new constitution, which has been held up by political wrangles, seen to challenge the next president not knowing his powers or those of parliament and government.