Prosecutor v. Semanza, Case No. ICTR-97-20-T, Judgment and Sentence (May 15, 2003).

Original: English

Before Judges:          
Yakov Ostrovsky, Presiding
Lloyd G. Williams, QC
Pavel Dolenc

Registrar: Adama Dieng

Judgement of: 15 May 2003


Case No. ICTR-97-20-T


Counsel for the Prosecution:
Chile Eboe-Osuji

Counsel for the Defence:
Charles Acheleke Taku
Sadikou Ayo Alao



I.  Introduction
  A. The Tribunal and its Jurisdiction
  B.  The Indictment
  C. The Accused
II. The Proceedings
  A. Procedural Background
  B. The Trial
  C. Evidentiary Matters
  D. Witness Protection Issues
III. The Defence Case
  A. The Accused’s Detention in Cameroon
  B. The Nullity of the Indictment Due to Vagueness and Cumulative Charges
    1. Failure to Specify Precise Dates of Criminal Acts
    2.  Failure to Specify Precise Locations of Criminal Acts
    3. Failure to Specify the Identity of Victims
    4. Failure to Specify the Form of Participation
    5. Cumulative Charges
    6. Conclusion
  C. The Prosecution’s Failure to Prove that Genocide Occurred in Bicumbi and Gikoro
  D.  The Prosecution’s Failure to Establish a Nexus Between an Internal Armed Conflict and the Death of Civilians in Bicumbi and Gikoro
  E. Personal Jurisdiction and Superior Responsibility
  F.  Challenges to the Credibility of Witnesses and the Sufficiency of the Evidence Supporting the Prosecution’s Case
  G. Alibi
    1. Notice of Alibi
    2. Gahengeri-Bicumbi (period of mourning): End of March 1994 - 8 April 1994
    3.  Gahengeri-Bicumbi (RPF attack): 8 April 1994
    4. Nzige-Bicumbi: 9 April 1994
    5. Gitarama Prefecture: 9 April 1994 – May 1994
    6. Impossibility
    7. General Conclusion
IV. The Prosecution Case
  A.  Paragraph 3.10 of the Indictment
    1. Allegations
    2. Findings
  B.  Paragraphs 3.11 and 3.18 of the Indictment
    1.  Allegations
    2.  Findings
  C. Paragraph 3.12 of the Indictment
    1. Allegations
    2.  Findings
  D.  Paragraph 3.13 of the Indictment
    1. Allegations
    2. Findings
  E.  Paragraph 3.14 of the Indictment
    1.  Findings
  F. Paragraph 3.17 of the Indictment
    1.  Allegations
    2.  Findings
  G.  Paragraph 3.19 of the Indictment
    1. Allegations
    2. Findings
  H. General Allegations
    1.  Paragraphs 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 of the Indictment
    2. Paragraph 3.4 of the Indictment
    3.  Paragraph 3.5 of the Indictment
    4. Paragraph 3.6 of the Indictment
V.  The Law
  A.  Genocide
    1. Mens Rea
    2.  Actus Reus
  B.  Crimes Against Humanity
    1. The Relationship Between the Enumerated Acts and the General Element
    2. The Attack
    3. The Mental Element for Crimes Against Humanity
    4. The Enumerated Acts
  C.  Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II Thereto (Article 4 of the Statute)
    1.  Article 4 of the Statute and the Principle of Nullum Crimen Sine Lege
    2. The Nature of the Conflict
    3.  Ratione Personae: Perpetrators
    4.  Ratione Personae: Victims
    5. Ratione Loci
    6. The Nexus Between the Alleged Violation and the Armed Conflict
    7.  Serious Violation
    8. Specific Violations
  D. Individual Criminal Responsibility
    1. Responsibility Under Article 6(1) of the Statute
    2. Responsibility Under Article 2(3) of the Statute
    3. Responsibility Under Article 6(3) of the Statute
  E. Cumulative Charges and Convictions
    1.  Cumulative Charges
    2. Cumulative Convictions
VI. Legal Findings
  A. Criminal Responsibility
  B. Genocide and Complicity to Commit Genocide
    1.  Genocide in Bicumbi and Gikoro Communes
    2.  Musha Church
    3. Mwulire Hill
    4. Mabare Mosque
    5. Conclusion With Respect to Count 1 and Count 3
  C. Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide
  D. Crimes Against Humanity
    1. General Elements
    2. Count 4: Murder
    3.  Count 5: Extermination
    4. Count 6: Persecution
    5. Count 8: Rape
    6. Count 10: Rape
    7. Count 11: Torture
    8. Count 12: Murder
    9. Count 14: Murder
    10. Intra-Article 3 Cumulative Convictions
  E. Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II Thereto
    1. Existence of a Non-International Armed Conflict
    2. Victims
    3.  Nexus to the Non-International Armed Conflict
    4. Specific Violations of Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II
VII. The Verdict
VIII. Sentencing
  A. Gravity of the Offences
    1. Sentencing Ranges
  B. Aggravating Factors
    1. Criminal Acts Not Alleged in the Indictment
    2. The Number of Deaths
    3. The Conduct of the Defence
    4. Influence of the Accused
  C.  Mitigating Factors
    1. Reduction of Sentence for Violation of Rights
    2. Credit for Time Served
  D. Conclusion
    1. Genocide and Extermination (Counts 3 and 5)
    2. Rape, Torture, Murder (Counts 10, 11, 12, and 14)
    3. Conclusion
  Separate Opinion of Judge Yakov Ostrovsky Concerning Serious Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II
  Separate and Dissenting Opinion of Judge Pavel Dolenc

Introduction | The Proceedings | Defence Case | Prosecution Case | The Law | Legal Findings | The Verdict | Sentencing | Opinion Judge Ostrovsky | Opinion Judge Dolenc | Annex I | Annex II | Annex III