This case summary is part of a collection of summaries describing the cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). See the Online Resource Hub pages on the ICTR and International Criminal Law, and table of ICTR case summaries for additional information.
Trial Judgment: 1 December 2003; Appeal Judgment: 23 May 2005
Juvénal Kajelijeli, the former Bourgmestre (mayor) of Mukingo Commune, stood trial for commanding, organizing, supervising, and directly participating in attacks against Tutsis in the Mukingo, Nkuli, and Kigombe Communes and for ordering the rape and sexual assaults of Tutsi women between April and July 1994. The prosecution accused Kajelijeli of direct and superior responsibility for conspiracy to commit genocide; complicity in genocide; incitement to genocide; crimes against humanity for acts of murder, extermination, rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts; and war crimes for acts of violence to life and outrages upon dignity.
In 2003, a Trial Chamber found Kajelijeli directly liable and liable as a commander for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his role in the killing of Tutsis in Mukingo, Nkuli, and Kigombe communes, and directly responsible for incitement to genocide for urging the Interahamwe militia and a crowd in Mukingo Fommune to kill Tutsis.
In 2005, the Appeals Chamber overturned the convictions as a superior for genocide and crimes against humanity on the grounds that those convictions were based upon the same facts as the convictions under direct responsibility for genocide and crimes against humanity. Because of a serious violation of Kajelijeli’s rights during his arrest and detention, the Appeals Chamber reduced the Trial Chamber’s sentence of life imprisonment to a sentence of 45 years’ imprisonment.