Prosecutor v. Ntakirutimana

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Ntakirutimana
ICTR-96-10-A and ICTR-96-17-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
December 13, 2004
Key Facts: 

The Appeals Chamber entered a conviction for Elizaphan Ntakirutimana for aiding and abetting extermination, finding the “mass killing” element to be met (see discussion in column F) and holding that the Appellant – by transporting armed attackers, identifying fleeing refugees to the attackers, and ordering attackers to destroy the roof of a church housing refugees – met the requisite actus reus and mens rea elements (¶ 534). The Appeals Chamber also entered a conviction for Gérard Ntakirutimana for aiding and abetting genocide and extermination via the procurement of gendarmes and ammunition for the attack on the Mugonero Complex.


With respect to the crime of extermination:

1. Acts “specifically directed to assist, encourage or lend moral support to the perpetration of that crime” with “a substantial effect upon the perpetration of the crime”

2. Knowledge that the acts performed by the aider and abettor assist the commission of the crime of extermination” (¶ 530)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “If it is established that the accused provided a weapon to one principal, knowing that the principal will use that weapon to take part with others in a mass killing, as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population, and if the mass killing in question occurs, the fact that the weapon procured by the accused “only” killed a limited number of persons is irrelevant to determining the accused’s responsibility as an aider and abettor of the crime of extermination” (¶ 530).

MENS REA: The Appeals Chamber held that the Trials Chamber erred in determining that the mens rea for aiding and abetting genocide requires intent to commit genocide, rather than knowledge about the principal perpetrator’s genocidal intent (¶ 501).

Appeals Chamber