Prosecutor v. Ngirabatware

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Ngirabatware
MICT-12-29-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
December 18, 2014
Key Facts: 

Ngirabatware, Minister of Planning, was charged by the ICTR with, inter alia, instigating and aiding and abetting genocide based on his role in distributing weapons and his statements at two roadblocks in Nyamyumba Commune. A majority of the Appeals Chamber affirmed his conviction for instigating and aiding and abetting genocide. However, the Appeals Chamber found that the ICTR Trial Chamber erred in expanding the charges regarding Ngirabatware’s contribution to a JCE to exterminate the Tutsis.


1. “[A]cts or omissions specifically aimed at assisting, encouraging or lending moral support to the perpetration of a certain specific crime” that have “a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime” (Trial Judgment, ¶ 1294)

2. “[K]nowledge that the acts performed by the aider and abettor assist the commission of the specific crime of the principal perpetrator” (Trial Judgment, ¶ 1296)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “Encouragement” even in the form of a “silent spectator” can fulfill the actus reus requirement (¶ 150).”[W]hile the Prosecution must establish the acts of the principal perpetrators for which it seeks to hold the aider and abettor responsible, an accused may be convicted for having aided and abetted a crime which requires specific intent even where the principal perpetrators have not been tried or identified” (¶ 149).

MENS REA: “[K]nowledge of the actual commission of the crime is not required …[w]here an accused is aware that one of a number of crimes will probably be committed, and one of those crimes is in fact committed, he has intended to facilitate the commission of that crime and is guilty as an aider and abettor (¶ 158).

Appeals Chamber