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The Prosecutor v.

Jean-Paul Akayesu Indictment: Among the general allegations against Akayesu is the indictment of acts of sexual violence, which includes forcible sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or oral cavity by a penis and/or of the vagina or anus by some other object and sexual abuse, such as forced nudity. The victims were, at all relevant times, persons not taking an active part in the hostilities. FACTS: On April 6, 2994, a plane carrying the President of Rwanda and the President of Burundi crashed at Kigali airport, killing all on board. Following the deaths of the two Presidents, widespread killings, having both political and ethnic dimensions, began in Kigali and spread and spread to other parts of Rawnda. The political structure of Rwanda includes the appointment of a bourgmestre for each of the communes found in the 11 existing prefectures. The bourgmestre is the most powerful figure in the commune. The accused Jean Paul Akayesu was appointed bourgmestre, and had exclusive control over the communal police, as well as any gendarmes found in the commune. He was responsible for the execution of laws and regulations and the administration of justice, also subject only to the prefects authority. As bourgmestre, Akayesu was responsible for maintaining law and public order. But between April 7 and the end of June, 1994, at least 2000 Tutsis were killed. The killings were openly committed and widespread. Hundreds of civilians, a majority of which were Tutsi, sought refuge at the bureau communal. While seeking refuge at the bureau communal, female displaced civilians were regularly taken by armed local militia and/or communal police and subjected to sexual violence, and/or beaten on or near the bureau communal premises. Many women were forced to endure multiple acts of sexual violence which were at times committed by more than one assailant. These acts of sexual violence were generally accompanied by explicit threats of death of bodily harm. The female displaced civilians lived in constant gear and their physical and psychological health deteriorated as a result of the sexual violence and beatings and killings. Allegations of sexual violence were first documented when a Tutsi woman stated that her six year-old daughter had been raped by three Interahamwe, a Hutu paramilitary organization, when they came to kill her father. The witness also testified that she heard that young girls were raped at the bureau communal. Another witness, also a Tutsi woman, testified that she was raped outside the bureau communal, and saw other Tutsi women being raped and knew of at least three such cases. Another witness also testified that the Interhamwe took young girls and women from the site of refuge near the bureau communal into a forest area and raped them. She testified that she herself was stripped of her clothing and raped in front of other people. There were several more instances when women were raped repeatedly. It is alleged that Akayesu knew that the acts of sexual violence, beatings and murders were being committed and was at times present during their commission. Akayesu facilitated the commission of the sexual violence, beatings and murders by allowing the sexual violence and beatings and murders to occur on or near the bureau communal premises. By virtue of his

presence during the commission of the sexual violence, beatings and murders and by failing to prevent the sexual violence, beatings and murders, Akayesu encouraged these activities. ISSUE: Whether Akayesu should be held liable for by virtue of criminal responsible for the Crime against Humanity (Rape). HELD: Yes. RATIO: Trial Judgment According to the Trial Chamber, rape is a form of aggression and that the central elements of the crime of rape cannot be captured in a mechanical description of objects and body parts. Like torture, rape is used for such purposes such as intimidation, degradation, humiliation, discrimination, punishment, control or destruction of a person. Rape is a violation of personal dignity, and would constitute torture when inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. Rape is therefore a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive. Sexual violence, which includes rape, is considered to be any act of a sexual nature which is committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive. To fall under the auspices of the ICTR the act must be committed (a) as part of a wide spread or systematic attack; (b) on a civilian population, (c) on certained catalogued discriminatory grounds, namely: national, ethnic, political, racial, or religious grounds. Considering the evidence stated by the witness, the Trial Chamber found beyond reasonable doubt that Akayesu had reason to know and in fact knew that sexual violence was taking place on or near the premises of the bureau communal, and that women were being taken away from the bureau communal and sexually violated. There is no evidence that Akayesu took any measures to prevent acts of sexual violence or to punish the perpetrators of sexual violence. The Trial Chamber therefore found that Akayesu, having knowledge of the sexual violence that was occurring, aided and abetted the following acts of sexual violence, by allowing them to take place on or near the premises of the bureau communal and by facilitating the commission of such sexual violence which, by virtue of his authority, sent a clear signal of official tolerance for sexual violence, without which these acts would not have taken place. The Trial Chamber also found that the rape and other inhumane acts which took place on or near the bureau communal premises were committed as part of the attacks between April 7 and June 1994. Appeal Judgment In the Appeals Chamber, Akayesu raised as a ground of appeal in relation to the charge of sexual violence that there was unfairness in the approach undertaken by the Trial Chamber in the assessment of evidence regarding the allegations of sexual violence.

The Appeals Chamber rejected this ground and stated that Akayesu failed to show specifically why such findings (or others) are indicative of an unfair approach by the Trial Chamber. With regard to inconsistencies in the statement, the Appeals Chamber noted in Kayishema and Ruzindana that, inconsistencies may raise doubts in relation to the particular piece of evidence in question or, where such inconsistencies are found to be material, to the witnesses evidence as whole. But in this case, it was found that the Trial Chamber duly assessed the credibility of the witnesses in light of the numerous items before it, including inconsistencies found between live testimony and prior statements. The decision of the Appeals Chamber was to unanimously dismiss the grounds of appeal brought forth by Akayesu.