Prosecutor v. Rukundo

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Rukundo
ICTR-2001-70-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
October 20, 2010
Key Facts: 

The Appeals Chamber set aside the Trial Chamber’s holding that Rukunda, a military chaplain, committed the crimes, and instead convicted him of aiding and abetting genocide and crimes against humanity by, inter alia, consulting with the assailants prior to the crimes and subsequently boasting of the killing.


1. Acts “specifically aimed to assist, encourage or lend moral support to the perpetration of a specific crime” with “a substantial effect upon the perpetration of the crime” (¶ 52)

2. Knowledge that the acts performed by the aider and abettor assist the commission of the specific crime of the principal perpetrator (¶ 53)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: There is no requirement of a cause-effect relationship between teh conduct of hte aider and abettor and the commission of the crime nor that such conduct served as a condition precedent to the commission of the crime. The determination as to whether the support had a substantial effect is a “fact-based inquiry” (¶ 52).

MENS REA: Specific intent crimes such as genocide also require that “the aider and abettor must know of the principal perpetrator’s specific intent (¶ 53). Here, given the Trial Chamber’s findings that the attacks “formed part of a larger campaign of ethnic violence in the area and country, the Appeals Chamber is convinced that the perpetrators acted with both genocidal intent and knowledge of the widespread and systematic attack against Tutsi civilians” (¶ 54).

Appeals Judgment