Former Rwandan Deputy Prosecutor's sentence reduced 18 Mar 2010
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has reduced the sentence of Siméon Nchamihigo to 40 years.

On 18 March 2010 the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) partially allowed the appeal of Siméon Nchamihigo. The Chamber reversed a number of Nchamihigo’s convictions, most notably reducing his sentence from life imprisonment to 40 years’ imprisonment.

Siméon Nchamihigo, ex-Rwandan Deputy Prosecutor for Cyangugu Prefecture, was found guilty by the Trial Chamber of genocide, as well as extermination, murder and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity on 24 September 2008. The Chamber found Nchamihigo responsible for the deaths of more than 2,000 Tutsis, and in sentencing him to life imprisonment noted that there were few mitigating circumstances, particularly in light of the zeal with which he had perpetrated his crimes.

Working at the ICTR

The Appeals Chamber reversed several of Nchamihigo’s convictions for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity in relation to a number of specific situations, with Judges Fausto Pocar and Liuy Daqun appending partially dissenting opinions. The Chamber granted Nchamihigo’s appeal in relation to six grounds of appeal, including reversing convictions in relation to several massacres. Consequently, the Chamber, Judge Pocar dissenting, set aside his life sentence and instead sentenced him to 40 years’ imprisonment.

Nevertheless, the Appeals Chamber affirmed all of Nchamihigo’s other convictions for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity, rejecting each of his additional grounds of appeal.

Nchamihigo was arrested in Tanzania in May 2001 after being recognized by a witness. Remarkably, at the time Nchamihigo was working at the ICTR as a defence investigator.

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