Life sentence for former Rwandan colonel convicted of genocide

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Manitoba Girl
Life sentence for former Rwandan colonel convicted of genocide

Life sentence for former Rwandan colonel convicted of genocide
Brother-in-law of former president also given 20 years
Last Updated: Thursday, December 18, 2008 | 5:43 AM ET
CBC News

A former Rwandan army colonel has been sentenced to life in prison by a United Nations court for his role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Judge Erik Moses said Theoneste Bagosora was "guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes."

Bagosora, 67, was in charge of troops and Interahamwe Hutu militia who butchered minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the central African nation. The court said Bagosora distributed weapons and directed the soldiers and militia.

The massacres took place in 1994 after Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was mysteriously shot down over Kigali as he returned home from peace talks with Tutsi-led rebels.


Sunday Hat

UN-backed court fails to prove Rwanda genocide planned: analysts

NAIROBI (AFP) — The acquittal of Rwanda's ex-army colonel Theoneste Bagosora by the UN war crimes tribunal of conspiracy to commit genocide marks the court's failure to prove the massacre was planned, analysts said Friday...

To date no suspect has ever been convicted by the Tanzania-based ICTR on conspiracy accusation despite charging nearly all the suspects with the crime.

"This means that nobody organised the genocide, that it would be a crime without a perpetrator and without premeditation," said Filip Reyntjens, a lecturer at Belgium's Anvers university and an expert prosecution witness in Bagosora's case...

There is a "lack of will by the tribunal ... which did not accomplish its task to the end," said Guichaoua.

"To me Bagosora was delegated to, he was not in control," Guichaoua explained.

"This means that the ICTR does not want to go up to the top ... but not wanting to know who assassinated Juvenal Habyarimana or pursue the crimes of senior RPF leaders, the court is thus morally handicapped," he added.

The tribunal, formed in late 1994 to try masterminds of the massacre, has also been faulted for failing to pursue alleged genocide perpetrators within the RPF which took power in 1994.

Bagosora clearly deserves life in jail but it's not clear to me why the RPF gets off without charges. Especially since they've gone on to launch a war in Congo that's killed millions. 

It makes it hard to refute the claim that this is victor's justice.

Sunday Hat

A couple other points:

- It's really tiring to hear all of these "human rights" bureaucrats hail this as proof that, "Justice can catch up with you." Justice catches up with you if you're African and the other side wins the war. If you're Henry Kissinger or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld or Ariel Sharon, etc. -- you live out your days rich and happy.

- Canadian reporters seem to have ignored the ruling. For example, the story at the top of the thread notes testimony about Bagasora storming out of peace talks and declaring he was returning to Rwanda to "prepare the apocalypse." But the verdict notes that that anecdote was "not supported by sufficiently reliable evidence"