The Genocide Against Tutsi in Rwanda: Obote’s Reply to Herman and Peterson


Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the University of Pennsylvania. He is attributed with having written extensively on economics, political economy and the media. His co-author, David Peterson is an independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago.

I have tried, but without success, to unravel the international humanitarian law and international criminal law principles Herman and Peterson adopted in their purported legal analysis concerning conspiracy to commit genocide in Rwanda during 1994. Unfortunately, these authors have chosen to entwine their analysis with speculation, hyperbole and even the use of sarcasm, none of which rationally advances any merit in the position they advocate.[1]

Additionally, I find the advocacy style adopted by the two authors inappropriate and strange. In the tradition of legal analysis, those advocating or responding to legal arguments do not attack opposing advocates but seek, with dignity and respect, to address issues raised in a discourse. I will therefore ignore here any and all derogatory and defamatory remarks made by the two gentlemen. I will instead limit my response to legal issues raised in their arguments.

Herman and Peterson made errors of law by mischaracterizing the crime of conspiracy to commit genocide as limited to acts and omission occurring after 6 April 1994. Further errors of law relate to the authors’ failures to appreciate elements of war crimes. Their arguments are focussed on the shooting down of President Habyarimana’s plane but are without reference to the specific legal provisions that apply, such as Article 4 of the ICTR Statute on war crimes, Article 18 of the same statute, alongside Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (the Rules) on drafting of indictments.

Overall, it is apparent that the authors’ argument is not truly a legal analysis, but a political posture camouflaged in the context of criticism about the ICTR legal process. Attempting to couple the issues of conspiracy and the downing of the President’s plane was a commonly used strategy among defence teams at the ICTR. There it was a strategy that never produced a clear answer or result. For the purpose of clarity here, I commence by presenting a terse overview of the law on conspiracy to commit genocide in order to provide context. I will then comment on Herman’s and Peterson’s criticisms of my rejoinder to their article.


This form of conspiracy is a statutory crime, as interpreted by specific jurisprudence. Article 2(3) (b) of the ICTR Statute empowers the Tribunal to adjudicate conspiracy to commit genocide.[2] The ICTR jurisprudence defines the actus reus of the crime of conspiracy to commit genocide as an agreement between two or more persons.[3] Genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide are distinct crimes under Articles 2(3) (a) and 2(3) (b) of the Statute. The crime of genocide has a materially distinct actus reus from the crime of conspiracy to commit genocide and both crimes are based on different underlying conduct. While the act of conspiracy to commit genocide requires the act of entering an agreement to commit genocide, the crime of genocide does not. An accused may therefore be convicted for both genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.[4]

A “pre-arranged” agreement is the defining element that distinguishes conspiracy from the substantive crime of genocide which may be committed without an agreement.[5] According to ICTR jurisprudence, what is punishable in a conspiracy is “the act of conspiracy itself, in other words […] the conspiracy, and not its result.”[6] However, conspiracy is a “continuing crime”. This means that although the crime is complete when the agreement to do an unlawful act is made, it continues so long as the parties to the agreement intend to carry it out.

The ICTR’s jurisprudence also elaborates on the continuity attribute of conspiracy, notably within the context of construing the Tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction. The ICTR acknowledges that no one can be convicted on the independent basis of criminal acts committed outside the temporal period but the ICTR allows pre-1994 criminal participation with respect to conspiracy as a “continuing offence”.[7] Significantly, an agreement to commit genocide need not be formal or express, but may be inferred from circumstantial evidence.

The approach adopted by the ICTR is supported by Common Law or Anglo-Saxon system which holds that conspiracy is constituted not by “overt acts,” which are agreed upon by the conspiracy (e.g. to kill members of a group), but by the acts committed in forming and maintaining the agreement.[8] Relying on Common Law precedents, the ICTR’s jurisprudence accepts that an “agreement” in the strict sense of the law of contract is unnecessary, but “the evidence must show that an agreement has been reached. The mere showing of a negotiation in progress will not do.”[9]

As acknowledged in criminal prosecutions before many national and international courts and tribunals, secrecy and concealment are essential features of a successful conspiracy. The more completely they are achieved, the more successful the crime.[10] It is for this reason that in prosecution of crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide, the Prosecution often relies on circumstantial evidence and statements of ‘Insider Witnesses’, that is accused persons who opt to cooperate with the Prosecution by providing relevant insider information that only co-conspirators are privy to, and other documentation in exchange of a lesser charge, reduced sentence or both.

As the Kambanda and Kajelijeli judgements opined, “acts” of conspiracy to commit genocide may encompass “omissions.”[11] Thus Prime Minister Kambanda’s failure to punish his co-conspirators, who engaged in several conspiratorial meetings in Rwanda during which they agreed to commit genocide, constituted such omission. Given the dangers posed by conspiracies, basing convictions on omissions may be justified for preventive purposes.[12]

Herman and Peterson appear to have unduly relied on the Bagosora case. To argue, as they did, that there were no crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide prior to 6 April 1994 is to misstate the law. Their conclusion is erroneous and unsupported by jurisprudence for such argument flies in the face of the Tribunal’s temporal jurisdictional limitation as stipulated in the ICTR Statute.[13] While the Bagosora Trial Chamber held that it was not satisfied that the Prosecutor had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the four accused [Bagosora, Kabiligi, Ntabakuze and Nsengiyumva] conspired amongst themselves or with others to commit genocide before it unfolded on 7 April 1994 and acquitted all four of conspiracy,[14] it is erroneous to conclude that it was because there were no acts of conspiracy prior to 6 April 1994. On the contrary, a holistic reading of the judgement shows that the Chamber limited its decision to this particular case. The Bagosora Trial Chamber judgement was therefore not for general application or binding on all future cases. Let me elaborate on this point.

At the Bagosora et al trial, the Prosecutor presented testimony that included pre-1994 acts and omissions. For example work of ENI Commission and subsequent meetings of soldiers invoking its definition of the enemy based on ethnicity, Bagosora’s 1992 reference to planning ‘apocalypse’, etc. The Defence for Kabiligi objected to the admission of the testimony in evidence on the ground that they were outside the temporal jurisdiction of the Court. The Chamber concurred and noted that a number of the allegations presented by the Prosecution precede the Tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction of 1 January to 31 December 1994. The Chamber emphasized that it can only convict the Accused of criminal conduct occurring in 1994 and thereby effectively excluding all pre-1994 testimony.[15] Significantly, however, the Chamber proceeded to elaborate on its ruling as follows:

“At the outset, the Chamber emphasises that the question under consideration is not whether there was a plan or conspiracy to commit genocide in Rwanda. Rather, IT IS WHETHER THE PROSECUTION HAS PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT BASED ON THE EVIDENCE IN THIS CASE THAT THE FOUR ACCUSED COMMITTED CONSPIRACY.”[16] [Emphasis added]

The Chamber was therefore emphatic that it was not making a declaratory judgement to the effect that crimes of conspiracy to commit genocide were never committed in Rwanda, before 6 April 1994. Nor that its decision would set a binding precedent in future trials, as expressed in the comment that “Other or newly discovered information, subsequent trials or history may demonstrate a conspiracy involving the Accused prior to 6 April to commit genocide.” [17]

It is also relevant to note that the Chamber considered divergent views of expert witnesses on possible dates or time-frames on commencement of planning or conspiracy to commit genocide. According to expert witness Alison Des Forges, the “organizational” phase of the planned genocide began in 1993 and early 1994 although a small group of individuals had been conceptualizing and planning the genocide for “much longer time.”

According to Filip Reyntjens, there was “no particular moment in time when a number of conspirators sat together and decided “We are going to organize genocide”, but the elements to commit genocide were present and developed incrementally beginning 1 October 1990. On the other hand, Defence expert witness, Bernard Lugan, testified that there was no proof of plan or conspiracy to kill Tutsis. And, another Defence expert witness, Helmut Strizek stated that there was no conspiracy to commit genocide because the downing of the plane was the spark that began the genocide.[18]

The Trial Chamber was alive to these divergent views and after carefully reviewing the totality of the testimony of all and other witnesses including examining documentary evidence, the Court ruled:

“Having considered the elements mentioned by the Prosecution, discussed above and elsewhere in the judgement, THE CHAMBER CANNOT EXCLUDE THAT THERE WERE IN FACT PLANS PRIOR TO 6 APRIL TO COMMIT GENOCIDE IN RWANDA….”[19] [Emphasis added]

Not only did the Bagosora Trial Chamber find that pre-April 6 plans could not be excluded, but the three judges of the Chamber considered the pre-April 6 conduct and preparations and specifically held that after the death of President Habyarimana those preparations were “tools” that “were clearly put to use to facilitate killings.” [20] Noting that use, along with the earlier cycles of violence, the Chamber observed that “Indeed, these preparations are Completely Consistent With A Plan To Commit Genocide.”[21] [Emphasis added]

What the analysis of the Herman and Peterson position ignores is that Trial Chambers deliberating the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide were bound to apply the prevailing legal standard of proof, such that even in the face of evidence that is “completely consistent with a plan to commit genocide”, the threshold that had to be crossed was that “when confronted with circumstantial evidence, it may only convict where it is the only reasonable inference.” [22] This threshold test, sometimes expressed as the ‘only reasonably possible inference’, is in application a very difficult evidentiary burden to overcome. In the Bagosora trial, the Chamber applied the test as follows:

“It is possible that some military or civilian authorities did intend these preparations as part of a plan to commit genocide. However, the Prosecution has not shown that the Only Reasonable Inference based on the credible evidence in this trial was that this intention was shared by the Accused.” [23] [Emphasis added]

Consequently, the absence of a conviction for conspiracy to commit genocide in the Bagosora case turned on a question of whether the pre-April 6 genocidal intention of those particular Accused could be inferred as the only reasonably possible conclusion on that evidence. Despite significant evidence that was “completely consistent” with a plan to commit genocide, given the context of the military conflict with the RPF, on the evidence heard at trial it was held not to be the only, reasonably, possible conclusion. However, as a strictly evidentiary result, that finding is a very long way from concluding that no conspiracy to commit genocide in Rwanda ever existed.

After a careful perusal of the ICTR Statute and its jurisprudence, it is my considered opinion that current jurisprudence including the Bagosora et al case does not support the position adopted by Herman and Peterson that there was no conspiracy to commit genocide, nor their position that for a crime of conspiracy to commit genocide to have been committed, acts or omission relied on by the Prosecutor could only have occurred before 6 April 1994. Significantly, this is so in part because the statutory temporal jurisdiction of the Tribunal makes no reference to pre-6 April 1994 acts or omission as material elements in the prosecution of conspiracy to commit genocide.


When a plane is shot down, either deliberately, accidentally or as an act of war, there are often opposing points of views on the incident. Consequently, several groups tend to dispute official and unofficial reports and offer their own alternative theories of the event. Additionally, evidence from open sources is often inconclusive and not sufficiently credible for the purpose of criminal prosecutions of alleged perpetrators many of whom remain unidentified.

Official, semi-official or unofficial reports on shooting down any plane must be treated with great caution particularly as the veracity of the reports are not tested by independent and credible sources or subjected to cross-examinations. Thus, it is surprising that Herman and Peterson imply they know the identities of those who shot down Habyarimana’s plane, notwithstanding that it is problematic to identify and prosecute all perpetrators who shoot down aircrafts based only on unverified reports.

To illustrate challenges in the investigations and prosecutions of alleged perpetrators who shoot aircrafts, I provide three examples of planes that were shot down, namely; the shooting down of Korean Airline Flight 007; Iran Air Flight 655 and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, before examining the downing of President Habyarimana’s plane. These examples show that problems faced in investigations and prosecutions of persons alleged to have downed Habyarimana’s plane is neither unique nor exceptional in the aviation industry.

In the first example, Korean Airline Flight 007 was a scheduled flight from New York City to Seoul via Anchorage, shot by a Soviet SU-15 Interceptor on 1 September 1983. All 269 passengers and crew on board were killed. The aircraft had flown through prohibited Soviet airspace around the time of a US reconnaissance mission in that country.

The Soviet Union initially denied knowledge of the incident but later admitted the shoot down, claiming that the aircraft was a US spy mission. The US denied spying and blamed the Soviet Union for provocative acts against South Korea and the US. Both the US and the USSR agreed to disagree. No independent investigations were conducted and no perpetrators were ever prosecuted.

The second example relates to the shooting of Iran’s airliner. Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iran Air civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai. On 3 July 1988, the aircraft was shot down by the United States Navy guided missiles cruiser USS Vincennes. The incident took place in Iranian airspace, over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and on the flight’s usual flight path. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crews were killed.

According to Iran, the USS Vincennes negligently shot down the civilian aircraft. And, according to the United States, the crew incorrectly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attack aircraft and shot it down. The case was eventually resolved by the International Court of Justice through a settlement.[24] As part of the settlement, the US did not admit legal liability but agreed to pay on an ex gratia basis US$61.8 million in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims.

Third, Malaysia Airline Flight 17 (MH17/MAS 17), a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on 17 July 2014, having been shot down, killing 283 passengers and 15 crews on board. The crash occurred during an internal armed conflict between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine.

According to the US and German intelligence sources, the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists fired from the territory which they controlled. However, the Los Angeles Times of 22 July 2014 reported that some US officials believe the attack against the Malaysian plane was a mistake. The Russian government, on the other hand, blamed the Ukrainian government and denied that the separatists shot it. However, the Dutch Safety Board is currently investigating the incident and is expected to issue its final report in August 2015. The alleged perpetrators are still to be identified.

What have these cases got to do with Habyarimana’s plane? Well, lessons learned from these examples provide us with opportunity for rational thinking in determining who were responsible for shooting Habyarimana’s plane, the quality of the reports on the shooting and whether any or what crimes, if any, were committed, and in which jurisdiction the perpetrators are to be prosecuted.

Common features in all three examples are that the precise perpetrators were never conclusively identified and subsequently criminally prosecuted under national or international law. Second, while the identity of some or all perpetrators are probably known to the leadership of the various governments and opposite parties, their names or identities were never made public. Three, all concerned parties never agreed on the circumstances surrounding the shooting down of the planes. Fourth, politics appear to have played significant roles in the investigations, or lack of them, of the shooting of the planes.

On the other hand, cause of actions available to victims or their respective governments include but are not limited to criminal prosecution of perpetrators before national or international courts, civil action before the International Court of Justice for compensation or investigations by national or international bodies, such as International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the UN established pursuant to the Montreal Convention of 1971 which came into force on 26 January 1973.[25]

Significantly, however, the Convention does not apply to customs, law enforcement or military aircraft but applies exclusively to civilian aircraft. In the case of Rwanda, a determination as to whether Habyarimana’s plane was a civilian or a military plane, considering the context of the shooting, and who might have shot it, is a material fact that must be conclusively determined.

The shooting down of the Habyarimana plane followed the same pattern of denials and disagreements over various reports by different parties. The RPF and the former FAR denied responsibility. The Rwanda government appointed its own Commission of Inquiry which exonerated itself and placed responsibility on the former FAR and Hutu extremists. The Commission of Inquiry concluded that the RPF could not have shot down the president’s plane, citing witnesses who described what appeared to be missiles from inside or near FAR military barracks. Filip Reyntjens criticized the report of the Commission of Inquiry (also known as Mutsinzi Report). He described the Report as biased and the presentation of unsubstantiated hypothesis or even down-right untruths as facts.[26]

Another report by a French Investigating Judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, reached an opposite conclusion. Judge Bruguiere accused nine high ranking Rwanda political and military leaders of plotting the attack and shooting the president’s plane. He issued arrest warrants for the nine but excluded President Kagame because France grants immunity to heads of state. Rwanda rejected the Bruguiere report in its entirety.

It is relevant to note that Judge Bruguiere was asked to investigate the circumstances of the plane shooting by relatives of the deceased French pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer. Judge Bruguire never visited Rwanda or the crash site. He did not present himself as an impartial investigator. On the contrary, he primarily relied on testimony presented by RPF dissidents. He went in detail to describe how the missiles were brought to the site at Masaka hill and the names of the individuals who fired the missiles.

As accomplices, the statements of the RPF dissidents ought to have been treated with grave caution and independent corroboration sought. Notably, some of the evidence presented originated from persons who were themselves the subject of criminal allegations, and whose defence relied in part on a strategy of blaming the RPF for ‘triggering’ the genocide. Rwanda rejected the report in its entirety.

A third report by French judges Marc Trevidic and Nathalie Poux (hereafter Trevidic Report) – that is, a report presented by a group of experts appointed by Trevidic and Poux – reached yet another conclusion. The Trevidic Report points to the most likely area from which the missiles that brought down the plane were fired. Because this area includes a military barracks of the FAR, the report infers that those responsible were most probably from the side of the Interim government and not the RPF.

This conclusion would appear to concur with the Rwanda Commission of Inquiry Report. The Trevidici Report does not, however, identify those who fired the missiles. Nor does it conclusively state that the missiles were fired from the barracks and therefore could only have been the work of the FAR. The Trevidic Report is strongly criticised by Barrie Collins.[27]

What emerges, amongst other things, is that the effort to establish the truth about who shot down Habyarimana’s plane and why has been fraught with legal and political problems, a common feature experienced in investigations of Korea Air, Iran Airline and the Malaysian air crash.

The sad reality concerning the deaths of presidents Habyarimana and Ntaryamira and the other persons on that plane is that there are many possibilities and much conflicting evidence about possible perpetrators and motives and means. There has long been a proliferation of hypotheses. Coupled with the degraded state of the evidence, now two decades after the fact, making findings that cross a threshold of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ remains improbable.

Under the ICTR Statute, the Prosecutor has authority to investigate and prosecute persons responsible for “serious” violations of international humanitarian law. The ICTR Statute identifies these crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. And, for the Prosecutor to conduct a successful criminal prosecution, a suspect must first be identified by name and particulars as provided for in Rule 47 (C) of the Rules. Apart from the flawed Judge Bruguiere Report, there are no credible reports that conclusively identify the person or persons who shot down the plane or superiors who ordered their subordinates to shoot the plane, or indeed what crimes were committed.

Herman and Peterson present investigation reports allegedly conducted by James Lyons and Michael Hourigan as proof that the ICTR had the evidence but failed to either follow the leads in the reports or to prosecute the perpetrators. The two authors recklessly fail to exercise caution in assessing the report, a process a seasoned Prosecutor routinely follows. For example, prosecutors routinely redirect the unproductive efforts of investigators to more germane or useful avenues of enquiry, particularly when allocating limited investigative resources.

Investigator Hourigan’s curiosity notwithstanding, an effective investigation and prosecution of genocide requires orchestration by a conductor in a position to ‘hear’ all the notes being played, not by someone in the back row marching to their own drum. Further, without establishing whether findings by Lyons and Hourigan met the high threshold required for drafting indictments under Article 18 of the ICTR Statute and Rule 47 of the Rules, Herman and Peterson reach their incautious conclusion that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute and the Prosecutor failed to do so.

In alleging a sufficiency of evidence to prosecute Herman and Peterson ignore Rule 47(C) of the Rules which specifically states that “the Indictment shall set forth the name and particulars of the suspect, and a concise statement of the facts of the case and of the crime which the suspect is charged.” Further Rule 47(E) obligates “the reviewing judge to examine each of the counts in the indictment and any supporting materials the Prosecutor may provide, to determine, applying the standards set forth in Article 18 of the Statute, whether a case exists against the suspect.”

Legally untrained minds are prone to miss the importance of these requirements in indictment drafting. Suffice it to state that existing documents, whether evaluated individually or collectively – that is, statements or reports of James Lyons, Michael Horigan, Rwanda Commission of Inquiry, Judge Brugiere, Judes Trevidici and Poux, and scores of other reports including the Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles – fail to provide reasonable and credible specificity sufficient to meet the high threshold standards for drafting and successfully presenting an indictment comprising charges as serious as genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes against any possible suspect.

Unverified allegations, by whatever party, remain inconclusive and fail to meet the specificity standard required under Rule 47(C) and (E) and further fail to disclose the necessary elements of the crimes for the propose of criminal prosecution. Conceivably such evidence might be sufficient for a civil case with a much lower evidentiary threshold, but criminal trials require proof beyond reasonable doubt. A defective indictment is a disservice to an accused, the victims, the public and a waste of the Court’s time and resources. In this context a prosecutor has an obligation to only proceed with charges that have a substantial likelihood of conviction.

In conclusion, it is unfortunate that professor of finance Herman and journalist Peterson have elected to promote a political posture and criticism in the guise of an ostensible legal analysis, because in the end result that analysis contributes very little or nothing at all to the scholarship of international law, while at the same time generating unwarranted, misinformed controversy. It remains a fact that convictions for conspiracy to commit genocide in Rwanda in 1994 are well-founded in law. As a global legal culture we ought to take pride that the process by which those trials were conducted was based properly on respect for the procedural rights of the accused and fair trials principles.

* Obote-Odora Alex is an independent law consultant.


[1] Edward S Herman and David Peterson, Obote-Odora’s dishonest response to us on the ICTR and BBC. See Pambazuka News, 2015-01-20, Issue 710 at (last visited on 23 January 2015).
[2] Article 2(3)(b) of the ICTR Statute provides: The following acts shall be punishable: (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide.
[3] See, among other cases, Prosecutor v Eliezer Niyitegeka Case No ICTR-96-14-T (TC), Judgement of 16 May 2003, para 423; Prosecutor v Juvenal Kajelijeli Case No ICTR-98-44A-T, (TC), Judgement of 1 December 2003, para. 787. Prosecutor v Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and Gerard Ntakirutimana Case No ICTR-96-10 and 96-17- T, (TC) Judgement of 21 February 21 2003, para 798-799.
[4] Jean-Baptiste Gatete v Prosecutor, Case No.ICTR-00-61-A (AC), 9 October 2012, para.260.
[5] Prosecutor v Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza and Hassan Ngeze, (hereafter Nahimana et al ) Case No ICTR-99-52-T (TC), Judgement of 3 December 2003, paras 1043 and 1045;
[6] Prosecutor v Alfred Musema Case No ICTR-96-13-T (TC) Judgement of 27 January 2000, para 193; see also, Ibid, Prosecutor v Nahimana et al (TC), para1044.
[7] George W Mugwanya, The Crime of Genocide in International Law – Appraising the Contribution of the UN Tribunal for Rwanda (Cameron May, 2007), p174-175.
[8] See Peter Gillies, Criminal Law (Sydney: The LBC Information Services, 4th ed. 1997), at pp 694 and 702.
[9] Prosecutor v Kajelijeli (TC), supra note 3, para787.
[10] Wayne R. LaFave, Criminal Law (St Paul Minn., West Publishing Group, 3rd e. 2000), at p.570.
[11] Prosecutor vJean Kambanda Case No ICTR-97-23-S, (TC), Judgement of 4 September 1998, para 40; Prosecutor v Kajelijeli (TC), supra note 3, para797.
[12] In the case of Kambanda, given his superior position of Prime Minister of Rwanda at the time, his inaction when his subordinates were carrying out meetings and reaching agreements to commit genocide played a pivotal role in the perpetration of the crime. His conduct could even be better characterized as tacit encouragement of the crime – a form of aiding and abetting. Kambanda’s guilty plea was confirmed by the ICTR Appeals Chamber; see Jean Kambanda v the Prosecutor, Case No. ICTR-97-23-A (AC) Judgement of 19 October 2000.
[13] Article 1 of the ICTR Statute limits the Tribunal’s temporal jurisdiction to “between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, in accordance with the provisions of the present statute.”
[14] Prosecutor v Theoneste Bagosora, Gratien Kabiligi, Aloys Ntabakuze and Anatole Nsengiyumva (hereafter Bagosora et al), Case No. ICTR-97-41-T, (TC) 18 December 2008, para 2113.
[15] Ibid, paras 2085, 2086 and 2091.
[16] Ibid, para.2092.
[17] Ibid, para.2112.
“Other or newly discovered information, subsequent trials or history may demonstrate a conspiracy involving the Accused prior to 6 April to commit genocide. This Chamber’s task, however, is narrowed by exacting standards of proof and procedure, the specific evidence on the record before it and its primary focus on the actions of the four Accused in this trial. In reaching its finding on conspiracy, the Chamber has considered the totality of the evidence, but a firm foundation cannot be constructed from fractured bricks.”
[18] Ibid, para.2095.
[19] Ibid, para.2107
[20] Ibid, para.2110
“After the death of President Habyarimana, these tools were clearly put to use to facilitate killings. When viewed against the backdrop of the targeted killings and massive slaughter perpetrated by civilian and military assailants between April and July 1994 as well as earlier cycles of violence, it is understandable why for many this evidence takes on new meaning and shows a prior conspiracy to commit genocide. Indeed, these preparations are completely consistent with a plan to commit genocide. However, they are also consistent with preparations for a political or military power struggle. The Chamber recalls that, when confronted with circumstantial evidence, it may only convict where it is the only reasonable inference. It cannot be excluded that the extended campaign of violence directed against Tutsis, as such, became an added or an altered component of these preparations.”
[21] Ibid, para.2110
[22] Ibid, para.2110
[23] Ibid, para.2111
[24] Aerial Incident of 3 July 1988 (Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America) Settlement Agreement, International Court of Justice, 9 February 1996.
[25] Convention For the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation, Signed at Montreal on 23 September 1971.
[26] Filip Reyntjens, A Fake Inquiry on a Major Event. Analysis of the Mutsinzi Report on the 6th April 1994 attacks on the Rwanda President’s aeroplane (Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp) Working Paper/2010.07, May 2010.
[27] Barrie Collins, Shooting down the ‘truth’ about Rwanda, Spiked at htt:// (last visited 27 January 2015); See also Barrie Collins, Rwanda 1994, The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy and its Consequences (Palgrave Macmillan, August 2014) where he presents his hypothesis that there was no conspiracy without persuasive and credible supporting data.



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