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: 7 December 2007; Appeal Judgment: 2 February 2009
François Karera, the former Prefect of Kigali-Rural Prefecture and former Bourgmestre of Nyarugenge Commune, stood trial for ordering, authorizing, and failing to prevent crimes against Tutsi civilians between April and mid-July 1994 in Kigali-Ville and Kigali-Rural prefectures. The prosecution charged Karera with direct and superior responsibility for genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity, and murder as a crime against humanity.
In 2007, an ICTR Trial Chamber found Karera directly responsible for ordering genocide in Nyamirambo Sector in Kigali-Ville Prefecture, instigating and committing genocide at Ntarama Church in Kigali-Rural Prefecture, for instigating and aiding and abetting genocide in Rushashi Commune in Kigali-Rural Prefecture, committing extermination at Ntarama Church, ordering extermination in Nyamirambo Sector, instigating and aiding and abetting extermination in Rushashi Commune, ordering murder in Nyamirambo Sector, instigating murder at Ntarama Church, and instigating and aiding and abetting murder in Rushashi Commune.
In 2009, an ICTR Appeals Chamber partly reversed the Trial Chamber’s convictions for aiding and abetting genocide and extermination in Rushashi, for ordering genocide and extermination in Nyamirambo, and for instigating murder in Rushari. The Appeals Chamber upheld Karera’s life sentence.