Ntakirutimana, Elizaphan

Elizaphan Ntakirutimana On 19 February 2003, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana became the first member of the clergy to be convicted of Genocide when Trial Chamber I at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) delivered its judgement in the case against Ntakirutimana and his son, Gérard Ntakirutimana. The accused were sentenced to 10 years and 25 years’ imprisonment respectively.

In addition to the Genocide count, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was indicted for conspiracy to commit genocide, three counts of crimes against humanity and one count of serious violations of Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions. He was found not guilty of each of these charges, whilst Gérard Ntakirutimana was found guilty of murder as a crime against humanity in addition to the Genocide charge. After Ntakirutimana appealed on 21 March 2003, the ICTR Appeals Chamber overturned one of his Genocide convictions, upheld another and also reversed his acquittal for extermination as a crime against humanity in its decision of 13 December 2004.

During the genocide in Rwanda Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was a pastor of the Church of the Seventh Day Adventists in the Mugonero complex in Ngoma. The Trial Chamber found that Ntakirutimana had transported militias to the complex where they killed hundreds of Tutsi civilians. Ntakirutimana became well-known internationally when a letter addressed to him by Tutsi pastors was used as the title for author, Philp Gourevitch’s 1998 book, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families.

On 6 December 2006, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana became the first convicted génocidaire to be released from prison after serving his sentence. Ntakirutimana died the following month.

Ntakirutimana, Gérard
Research/ miscellaneous (Research Document)
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