Prosecutor v. Kamuhanda

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Kamuhanda
ICTR-99-54A-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
September 19, 2005
Key Facts: 

The Trial Chamber convicted Appellant of, inter alia, aiding and abetting the commission of crimes by distributing weapons and leading the attackers to Gikomero Parish Copoun, the scene of the crime. The Appeals Chamber, by majority, found that the Trial Chamber erred, as there was insufficient evidence that the Appellant either distributed weapons or led the attackers to the compound where the crimes took place. Ultimately, the Appeals Chamber did find that the Appellant more broadly “led” the attackers in the sense that he was in a position of authority over the attackers and ordered the attack (¶ 70), but the Chamber did not maintain the aiding and abetting conviction since “the mode of responsibility of ordering fully encapsulates” the responsibility of leading the attackers (¶ 77).


The Appeals Chamber referred in ¶ 384 to the Trial Chamber’s aiding and abetting liability standard (Trial Chamber ICTR-95-54-A-T, ¶¶ 596-600):

1. Acts of practical assistance, encouragement or moral support that “intentionally provide encouragement or support to the commission of a crime” that have a “substantial effect on the accomplishment of the substantive offence” (¶ 597)

2. “[K]nowledge that his or her act(s) assist in the commission of the crime by the actual perpetrator(s)” (¶ 599)

Key Passages : 

MENS REA: “An accused’s position of superior authority, in and of itself, does not suffice to conclude that the accused, by his or her mere presence at the scene of the crime, encouraged or supported the offence. The presence of the accused at the crime site, however, may be perceived as a significant indicium of his or her encouragement or support. The requisite mens rea may be established from an assessment of the circumstances, including the accused’s prior and similar behaviour, failure to punish orverbal encouragement.” (Trial Chamber Judgment, ¶ 600).

Appeals Chamber