Prosecutor v. Kayishema and Ruzindana

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Kayishema and Ruzindana
ICTR-95-1-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
June 1, 2001
Key Facts: 

Kayishema was convicted of 24 counts with respect to crimes committed as part of his involvement as a superior in four sets of massacres in Kibuye, Rwanda. Ruzindana was charged with 5 counts for crimes committed during the massacres in Biserero. With respect to the aiding and abetting claims, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s finding that the Accused’s presence “albeit passive, considering his position of authority” constituted tacit encouragement of the underlying crime.


1. Acts directed to the perpetration of the crime (¶ 198) and that “substantially contributed” to the perpetration of the crime (¶ 198, n. 309)

2. Knowledge of the act of participation in the commission of the crime (¶ 198, n. 303, 309, citing the ICTY in Tadic and Furundzija)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “Even where the presence of the Accused need not be a condition sine qua non, he may still incur individual responsibility provided he is aware of the possible effect of hispresence (albeit passive) on the commission of the crime. In the case at bar, the Trial Chamber held that the Accused’s failure to oppose the killing constituted a form of tacit encouragement inlight of his position of authority” (¶ 201). The Appeals Chamber cites to the Furundzija Trial Judgment, where it was held that the assistance given by an accomplice need not be tangible and can consist of moral support in certain circumstances (n. 311 (internal citation omitted)).

Appeals Chamber