Rwanda tribunal convicts former priest of genocide

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced former priest Emmanuel Rukundo to 25 years imprisonment Feb. 27 after convicting him of genocide, crimes against humanity and sexual assault. Rukundo, who was a military chaplain and captain in the Rwandan Armed Forces, was found to have used his position as a priest to influence troops to abduct and kill Tutsi refugees hiding in a seminary during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The ICTR stated that his sentence was increased because he used a position of trust and authority to further the crimes. It also credited Rukundo with the seven-and-a-half years he has already spent in UN custody, leaving the balance of his term at approximately 17 years.

In 2003, UN Security Council Resolution 1503 stated that the ICTR should complete all trials by 2008, but last June the ICTR requested additional time. The contempt trial for a former ICTR defense investigator began earlier this month, and in January a former justice official was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide. (Jurist, Feb. 27

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