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: 28 April 2005; Appeal Judgment: 21 May 2007
Mikaeli Muhimana, the former Counseiller Communal (counsellor) of Gishyita Commune in Kibuye Prefecture, stood trial for mobilizing, arming, and working with civilians and police to kill Tutsis in Kibuye, and stood trial for organizing and participating in a coordinated killing and rape of Tutsis. The prosecution charged Muhimana with direct responsibility for genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity for acts of murder and rape.
In 2005, an ICTR Trial Chamber convicted Muhimana on all counts, with the exception of complicity in genocide, after finding that Muhimana participated, with the intent to destroy Tutsis and as part of a systemic attack, in attacks in Kibuye, during which he shot at Tutsis, raped Tutsi women, and threw a grenade into a church were Tutsi refugees were gathered.
In 2007, the ICTR Appeals Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber’s findings with respect to two instances of alleged rape by Muhimana and one instance of murder, but the Appeals Chamber found that these errors were not sufficient to overturn any of Muhimana’s convictions, which were supported by other findings. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s sentence of life imprisonment.