National Implementation of IHL
Fulgence Niyonteze case, Military Court of Cassation, 27 April 2001
Fulgence Niyonteze, Cour de cassation militaire, 27 Avril 2001

Military Court of Cassation
"27 Avril 2001, N. et auditeur c. TMA 1A", Arrêts du Tribunal militaire de cassation 2001/2002, Office de l'Auditeur en chef, Vol. 12, 3ème fascicule, pp. 1-32 (No. 21).
(last accessed on 30.08.2013)

The defendant was the burgomaster of a municipality in Rwanda in 1994. He was charged, in the context of the Rwandan genocide, with exhorting the population to kill Tutsies and moderate Hutus and with inciting refugees to go back to their homes, with the intention of having them killed and taking their property.

The Military Court of First Instance found the defendant guilty of murder, attempted murder and grave breaches of the international conventions relating to the conduct of hostilities and the protection of persons and property. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. The Military Court of Appeal partially upheld the judgment, reducing the sentence to 14 years' imprisonment .

The Military Court of Cassation partially dismissed the judgment of the Military Court of Appeal, but solely with respect to matters relating to the deferred expulsion of the defendant from Switzerland. Thus, it confirmed that the defendant was guilty under Art. 109 of the Military Penal Code relating to violations of the laws of war, Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Article 4 of Additional Protocol II of 1977, the latter two articles being applicable to non-international armed conflicts. The Court found that the link between the accused (as a civilian agent of the State) and the armed forces, and between the armed conflict and the crimes he was charged with, was sufficient for these provisions to apply to him.

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application/pdf 114 KB Fulgence Niyonteze case - Decision of 27.04.2001.pdf