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: 13 December 2006; Appeals Judgment: 12 March 2008
Athanase Seromba, a former priest at the Nyange parish in Kibuye prefecture, stood trial for facilitating attacks on Tutsi refugees who were hiding at Nyange church. The prosecution charged Seromba with direct responsibility for genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and extermination as a crime against humanity.
In 2006, an ICTR Trial Chamber convicted Seromba of aiding and abetting genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity after finding that he knowingly participated and accepted the decision to destroy the Nyange church housing refugees.
In 2008, the ICTR Appeals Chamber overturned Seromba’s conviction for aiding and abetting genocide and extermination, but entered new convictions against Seromba for committing genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his role in the destruction of Nyange church. The Appeals Chamber replaced the Trial Chamber’s 15-year sentence with a sentence of life imprisonment.