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The Public Prosecutor v. Alexis Dusingize

Court Court of First Instance of Nyamata (Specialised Chamber), Rwanda
Case number RPNº002/C.S/NTA/Gde
Decision title Judgment
Decision date 12 March 1997
  • The Public Prosecutor
  • Alexis Dusingize
Categories Crimes against humanity, Genocide
Keywords crimes against humanity, genocide, Murder
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During the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which persons of Tutsi ethnicity and moderate Hutus were systematically exterminated by apparatus of the Rwandan State and Hutu civilian militias including the Interahamwe, it is estimated that some 500,000 people were killed, thousands displaced to neighbouring countries and thousands more raped.

The present decision concerns the conviction for genocide and murder as a crime against humanity of Alexis Dusingize who directed a group of assassins during the conflict to murder the Tutsi that they came across. He operated from a roadblock, which he used to verify the identity cards of those that sought to pass with the aim of separating the Tutsi from the Hutu. He was convicted by the Court of First Instance at Nyamata and sentenced to death for his crimes. 

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Procedural history

On 6 December 1996, the Prosecutor transferred the dossier relating to the Accused, Alexis Dusingize, to the President of the Specialised Chamber of the Court of First Instance of Nyamata.

On 4 March 1997, the President of the Specialised Chamber decided to commence criminal proceedings against the Accused for genocide, complicity in genocide, belonging to a criminal organisation and murder as a crime against humanity. That same day, the Accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 

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Legally relevant facts

From 7 April until 15 May 1994, the Accused, Alexis Dusingize, incited Hutu civilians to kill Tutsi with a view to implementing the State policy of exterminating the Tutsi in Rwanda. He was further resposnible for holding meetings at a roadblock near Nakabonye where he issued orders to a group of assasins under his authority to exterminate Tutsi. The Accused remained at the roadblock verifying the identity cards of those seeking to pass and killing any Tutsi that he identified (pp. 1-2).

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Specific legal rules and provisions

  • Article 2 of Decree-Law Nº 08/75.
  • Article 2 of Organic Law Nº 08/96 of 30 August 1996.
  • Articles 91, 168, 281-283 and 312 of the Rwandan Penal Code.

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Court's holding and analysis

The Court convicted the Accused of genocide, sentenced him to the death penalty and ordered him to pay reparations to the victims (p. 4).

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Instruments cited