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.


Ntuyahaga (ICTR-98-40)

Indictment Withdrawn: 18 March 1999; Appeal Judgment: 3 June 1999

Bernard Ntuyahaga, a former Major in the Rwandan Armed Forces, was indicted in connection with the murder of the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Ms. Agathe Uwilingiyimana, and 10 Belgian peacekeepers of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. The prosecution attempted to charge Ntuyahaga with five counts, including direct responsibility for genocide and complicity in genocide and both direct and superior responsibility for crimes against humanity for acts of murder, and war crimes for acts of violence to life. However, the Trial Chamber only confirmed a single charge against Ntuyahaga of crimes against humanity for acts of murder. As a result, the prosecution sought to withdraw the charges against Ntuyahaga, requesting that he be transferred to a national court for trial.

In 1999, a Trial Chamber authorized the withdrawal of the indictment against Ntuyahaga, ordering his immediate release, but the Trial Chamber held that it was not within its authority to order the transfer of Ntuyahaga to the authorities of any State. The ICTR released Ntuyahaga and he was eventually prosecuted and convicted in Belgium. In 1999, the Appeals Chamber rejected Ntuyahaga’s appeal that he was entitled to acquittal on the single charge of crimes against humanity for acts of murder.