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.


Nizeyimana (ICTR-00-55C)

Trial Judgment: 19 June 2012; Appeal Judgment: 29 September 2014

Ildéphonse Nizeyimana, a former captain at a Butare military academy, stood trial for his role in ordering the killing of Rwanda’s former Tutsi Queen, Rosalie Gicanda, as well as for his role in other killings in Butare Prefect. The prosecution charged Nizeyimana with direct and superior responsibility for genocide; crimes against humanity for acts of extermination, murder, and rape; war crimes for violence to life and outrages upon dignity.

In 2012, an ICTR Trial Chamber convicted Nizeyimana of genocide, crimes against humanity for acts of murder and extermination, and violence to life as a war crime. The Trial Chamber found that Nizeyimana was responsible for an attack on Cyahinda Parish resulting in the death of thousands of Tutsi refugees, for ordering the killing of Rosalie Gicanda, for killings of Tutsis at roadblocks in Butare town, and for several other killings in Butare.

In 2014, the ICTR Appeals Chamber affirmed the majority of Nizeyimana’s convictions, but the Appeals Chamber reversed the finding that Nizeyimana’s planned and authorized the attack on Cyahinda Parish and the finding that Nizeyimana was responsible for certain killings at Butare town roadblocks. The Appeals Chamber reduced Nizeyimana’s sentence from life imprisonment to 35 years’ imprisonment.