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: 12 November 2008; Appeal Judgment: 18 March 2010
Siméon Nchamihigo, the former assistant prosecutor at the Cyangugu Court of First Instance, stood trial for his role in mass killings at roadblocks erected throughout Cyangugu prefecture; the killing of several individuals; massacres of thousands of Tutsis at locations where they had sought refuge; and massacres of two groups of individuals removed from Kamarampaka Stadium on April 16 and 18, 1994. The prosecution charged Nchamihigo with direct responsibility for genocide and crimes against humanity for acts of murder, extermination, and other inhumane acts.
In 2008, an ICTR Trial Chamber convicted Nchamihigo of genocide for instigating killings at Kamarampaka Stadium; other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity for the killing of an individual named Mr. Gakwandi; genocide and murder as a crime against humanity for aiding and abetting the killing of killing of four individuals, one man identified as Father Boneza and three Tutsi girls, Joséphine Mukashema, Hélène and Marie; genocide for the killing of Tutsi refugees in Shangi parish and for inciting soldiers and civilians to kill refugees at Hanika parish; and genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for the killings at Mibilzi parish, Mibilzi hospital, Nyakanyinya school, and Gihundwe sector.
In 2010 the ICTR Appeals Chamber reversed Nchamihigo’s conviction for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity for the killing of Joséphine Mukashema, Hélène, and Marie; reversed his conviction for genocide for instigating killings at Shangi and Hanika parishes; reversed his convictions for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for instigating the massacres at Mibilizi parish and hospital and at Nyakanyinya school; and affirmed the remaining convictions. The Appeals Chamber reduced the Trial Chamber’s sentence of life imprisonment to a sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment.