Mpambara, Joseph

Mpambara is a Rwandese asylum seeker who has been accused of having committed war crimes and genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

On 21 October 2008, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, based in The Hague, ruled that Dutch courts have no jurisdiction to try Joseph Mpambara for genocide, affirming two previous rulings from The Hague District Court in July 2007 and The Hague Court of Appeals in December 2007. At the time, The Hague District Court had acknowledged the existence of a lacuna in Dutch criminal law, recognising the risk of no prosecution at all in cases like this.

However, this ruling does not affect the prosecution of Joseph Mpambara for war crimes and torture. Mpambara’s trial for these crimes began at The Hague District Court on 13 October 2008. On 23 March 2009, Mpambara was found guilty of torture and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment, but acquitted of five counts under the Dutch War Crimes Act.

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