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: 21 February 2003; Appeal Judgment: 13 December 2004
Gérard Ntakirutimana, a medical doctor practicing at the Mugonero Adventist Hospital, and Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Mugonero and the father of Gérard Ntakirutimana, stood trial for their involvement in attacks against Tutsis in Mugonero and the Bisesero area. The prosecution charged both defendants with direct and superior responsibility for genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; crimes against humanity for acts of murder, extermination, and other inhumane acts; and war crimes for acts of violence to life.
In 2003, a Trial Chamber found both defendants guilty of genocide for their involvement in the violence and killings in Mugonero and Bisesero, found Gérard Ntakirutimana guilty of crimes against humanity for acts of murder for his direct involvement in the killings of Tutsis during the attacks in Bisesero, and acquitted the defendants on all other charges.
In 2004, the ICTR Appeals Chamber affirmed the conviction of Elizaphan Ntakirutimana for genocide in Bisesero, overturned Elizaphan Ntakirutimana’s acquittal and convicted him for crimes against humanity for extermination, overturned Elizaphan Ntakirutimana’s conviction for genocide in Mugonero, affirmed Gérard Ntakirutimana’s conviction for genocide in Mugonero and Bisesero, overturned Gérard Ntakirutimana’s conviction for crimes against humanity for murder in Bisesero, and convicted Gérard Ntakirutimana of crimes against humanity in relation to the Mugonero incident. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s sentence of Elizaphan Ntakirutimana to 10 years’ imprisonment and of Gérard Ntakirutimana to 25 years’ imprisonment.