Prosecutor v Nyiramasuhuko et al.

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v Nyiramasuhuko et al.
ICTR-98-42-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
December 14, 2015
Key Facts: 

The Trial Chamber found Appellants guilty of aiding and abetting extermination, persecution, and genocide, including the crimes of the killings of an individual named Rwamukwaya and his family; Tutsis abducted from the École évangéliste du Rwanda; and Tutsis at Mugombwa Church Kabuye Hill. The Trial Chamber also found one Appellant guilty of aiding and abetting by omission the killings of Tutsis who had sought refuge at the Butare Prefecture Office by failing to discharge his duty to provide assistance to civilians in danger. The Appeals Chamber affirmed in part these convictions.


1. “[P]ractical assistance, encouragement, or moral support which has a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime” (¶ 1955)

2. “[K]nowledge that these acts assist the commission of the offense” (¶ 1955)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “Tacit approval may be inferred if, for instance, there is ‘the authority of the accused combined with his presence on (or very near to) the crime scene, especially if considered with his prior conduct, which all together allow the conclusion that the accused’s conduct amounts to official sanction of the crime and thus substantially contributes to it’” (¶ 1955). But where it could not be shown that perpetrators knew of accused’s prior crimes at other locations, Trial Chamber’s conclusion that his presence at the scene substantially contributed to the crimes was unreasonable (¶ 2088).

“‘[P]roof of a causal relationship, in the sense of a conditio sine que non between the conduct of the aider and abettor and the commission of the crime, is not required so long as the support of the aider and abettor has a substantial effect upon the perpetration of the crime.’ Whether a particular contribution qualifies as “substantial” is a fact-based inquiry” (¶ 3332). With respect to one Appellant, a speech endorsing speeches of President and Prime Minister was not shown to have substantially contributed to killings which followed (¶ 3333).

Appeals Chamber