IGIHUHA

Monday, June 05, 2006

IBIHWIHWISWA - Affaire Joseph Serugendo: Le TPIR est-il trop sévère?




THE International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has sentenced a man who supported broadcasts inciting genocide during the 1994 massacres to six years in prison.

Joseph Serugendo, a former board member of the Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and the National Committee of the Interahamwe za MRND, had pleaded guilty to charges of direct and public incitement to commit genocide and persecution, a statement released from Arusha, said last week.

Mr Serugendo admitted to having provided technical assistance and moral support to the broadcasting service in order to ensure its ability to continuously disseminate an anti-Tutsi message before and during the genocide, adding that he also acknowledged having used his influence within the MRND and Interahamwe to incite others to kill or cause serious harm to members of the Tutsi population.

"The Chamber took into account the gravity of those crimes, but also Serugendo's guilty plea and his substantial cooperation with the Prosecution," the statement said. "The Chamber noted that he expressed genuine remorse and a desire to help establish the truth regarding the events in Rwanda. This may encourage others to acknowledge their personal involvement in the 1994 genocide and contribute to national reconciliation."

Mr Serugendo has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The court has asked the officials concerned to ensure he gets adequate medical attention, including hospitalization. He was arrested in Gabon in September, 2005.

The court decision was led by Judge Erik Mosse. It brings the number of persons tried by the tribunal to 28.
Rwandan radio chief is jailed for genocide
MARGARET NEIGHBOUR

A UNITED Nations court trying the masterminds of Rwanda's 1994 genocide yesterday handed a six-year sentence to the former director of a radio station whose broadcasts were accused of encouraging the killings.

Joseph Serugendo was a member of the governing board of the Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), and of the national committee of the Interahamwe za MRND militia group. The RTLM was notorious for its radio broadcasts encouraging the killing of "cockroaches", as Tutsis were called during the genocide in which 800,000 people were killed.

"He pleaded guilty to public incitement to commit genocide and persecution as a crime against humanity," the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said in a statement yesterday. "He further acknowledged having used his influence within the MRND and Interahamwe to incite others to kill or cause serious harm to members of the Tutsi population."
The ICTR said the court took into account the gravity of Serugendo's crimes as well as his guilty plea.

"The Chamber noted that he expressed genuine remorse and a desire to help establish the truth regarding the events in Rwanda," the statement said. "This may encourage others to acknowledge their involvement in the 1994 genocide and contribute to national reconciliation in Rwanda."

The court added that Serugendo had recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness and ordered that he should receive medical treatment.

The ICTR said the judgment brings the number of persons whose trials have been completed to 28. The backlogged tribunal is under pressure to clear many cases by the expiry of its mandate in 2008.

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