The Prosecutor v. Tharcisse Renzaho, Case No.
SUMMARY OF JUDGEMENT
2. The Defence disputes all charges. Renzaho was not in any way involved in the massacres after 6 April 1994; neither directly nor through others. The situation was uncontrollable. He did all he could to stop the violence.
3. The trial commenced on 8 January 2007 and closed on 6 September 2007. The parties presented 53 witnesses in the course of 49 trial days. Closing arguments were heard on 14 and 15 February 2008. The delivery of the judgement has been delayed because this Chamber has been involved in three other cases involving a total of six accused, including the time-consuming Bagosora et al. judgement.
4. The Chamber will now give a summary of its findings concerning the allegations against Renzaho. Only the written judgement is authoritative. It will be available soon. The Defence submissions concerning certain fair trial issues are discussed in the judgment and will not be addressed here.
II. Encouragement of
6. The evidence has not established that Renzaho was involved in military training in 1994. He clearly knew that the Interahamwe received such training in 1993, and he was in favour of this. However, such knowledge and support does not in itself constitute a crime under the ICTR Statute, and it has not been established that the purpose of the training was to kill Tutsis. The evidence has not shown that Renzaho was involved in planning the genocide.
8. The local officials in attendance followed Renzaho’s directives and erected roadblocks in their respective communities within the prefecture. Their actions contributed to the slaughter of Tutsis or those identified as Tutsis. Renzaho reiterated his support for these roadblocks during at least one additional meeting that month.
9. The Chamber has considered Renzaho’s communiqués broadcast on Radio Rwanda during the events. His utterances about roadblocks were not clear. However, he never called for an end to the killing of Tutsi civilians, and calls for peace were usually accompanied by requests that the population continue to remain vigilant and encouragement in the fight against the Inyenzi or Inkotanyi. The Chamber finds that Renzaho supported the killings of Tutsi civilians at roadblocks.
IV. Distribution of
11. Turning to
ordering of weapons distribution, Renzaho convened a meeting at the Kigali-Ville
prefecture office around 16 April where he directed local administrative
officials, including conseillers, to retrieve firearms from the Ministry of
Defence. The officials went to the Ministry and obtained some firearms that were
subsequently distributed to persons within their
12. The Chamber is convinced that Renzaho’s instructions to retrieve the weapons were accompanied by a further order to distribute them to persons in their communities. Those who ultimately received the firearms subsequently engaged in the killing of Tutsis. Although Renzaho did not give explicit instructions that these weapons be used to further the ongoing killings in Kigali-Ville prefecture, the only reasonable inference to be drawn are that these distributions, within the context of the ongoing killings of Tutsi civilians, demonstrated his support for such activities and contributed substantially to them. The Chamber is also convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Renzaho gave his instructions with the knowledge that killings of Tutsi civilians would be furthered by this support.
V. Facilitation of
14. There is evidence
that the prefecture office was involved in the distribution of fuel through the
use of coupons or vouchers. The office had some degree of control over who would
receive fuel, and a sub-prefect within the prefecture administration was given
the task of administering vouchers. At least from 13 April until about 3 May
1994, vouchers signed by the prefect were being used at a petrol station, mainly
to provide fuel to the Interahamwe. However, the evidence
VI. Killings at
VII. Dismissal of
17. It is undisputed
that Renzaho signed Sezibera’s dismissal letter, but there is no evidence that
he appointed the new conseiller. Whether the idea of dismissing Sezibera was
initially formulated by Renzaho or at a lower level, for instance the
bourgmestre, is also unclear. The Chamber has therefore not found any criminal
liability in respect of this allegation.
19. The Chamber accepts the evidence of several witnesses that Renzaho supervised a selection process in which Interahamwe separated about 40 Tutsis from the other refugees. Among those chosen were Charles Rwanga and his sons Wilson and Déglote. In Renzaho’s presence, one of the militia leaders gave instructions that they should be taken to one of the mass graves. Renzaho told the remaining refugees to go home. It is clear from the evidence that the approximately 40 persons were subsequently killed.
20. Saint Paul
Pastoral Centre was the second place with a large number of mainly Tutsi
refugees. The Interahamwe carried out several attacks against the Centre from
April to June 1994. One of them took place on 14 June. It resulted in the
abduction and subsequent killings of about 40 to 50 Tutsis. From early May,
Renzaho knew of attacks by Interahamwe against refugees there but did not act to
stop them. The evidence does not show, however, that he was liable for the
attacks, including the one on 14 June.
22. The Chamber finds
that the attack started before noon. Renzaho was present before it began, as
well as toward its end. An Interahamwe read out names of refugees to be killed.
Those whose names were called were killed in the church’s garden. In addition to
these specific individuals, also other Tutsis were killed. The evidence
demonstrates that Renzaho played an
XI. Killings in
XII. Killing of André
XIII. Meeting at
26. Only one Prosecution witness testified about the meeting. Several issues of credibility arise as to the description of this event. The Chamber does not find that this event has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
XIV. Sexual Violence
28. The Chamber finds that Renzaho was aware of rapes taking place in his prefecture during this period. The evidence shows that, on separate occasions and in certain specific locations, such as a sector office, he made remarks encouraging the sexual abuse of women. Rape took place following his remarks, and the Chamber finds him criminally responsible.
31. In accordance with Rules 102 (A) and 103, Renzaho shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending transfer to the state where he will serve his sentence.
32. This marks the
end of the summary of the judgement. The trial proceedings in this case have
come to an end. The court is adjourned.