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Bringing justice to victims of international crimes

Joseph Mpambara

Arrested by the Dutch authorities on 7 August 2006; Trial before The Hague District Court started on 13 October 2008; found guilty of torture and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on 23 March 2009. On 7 July 2011 sentenced to life in prison
Member of a militia linked to the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND)

Born in 1968, Joseph Mpambara is the brother of Obed Ruzindana, an important businessman who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by the Appeal Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2001 for genocide and crimes against humanity. Mpambara applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 1998 and was living in Hilversum at the time of his arrest in August 2006.

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) denied the asylum application of Mpambara because, together with his brother, he was alleged to have made life or death decisions concerning Tutsis at the roadblock close to his place of residence in Mugonero. According to the IND there were also strong reasons to believe that Mpambara was involved in the massacres in Rwanda in 1994.

Mpambara reportedly was a member of the Interahamwe, an extreme militia wing of the national state party, the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND). As such, he was suspected of having participated in the massacre of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda,

It was said that Joseph Mpambara played a role in several attacks on Tutsis in Mugonero, in the Kibuye region in western Rwanda. In particular he was believed to have ordered the killing of several Tutsis being transported by ambulance when it stopped at a check-point.

Mpambara was charged for his involvement in the mass murder of Tutsi refugees in a centre belonging to the Seventh Day Adventists of Rwanda, for the murder of seven passengers of an ambulance, and rape and torture with respect to a German doctor, his wife and their baby. Moreover he is accused of participating in the abduction, from their grandparents, of three young children of 2, 6 and 8 years of age, who were never heard of again.

On 7 August 2006, Joseph Mpambara was arrested by the Dutch authorities following an arrest warrant for genocide and war crimes issued in application of the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Fact sheet

Rwanda 1968 The Hague, Netherlands 04.1994  - 06.1994 13.10.2008  - 23.03.2009
War crimes



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