Former Rwanda mayor sentenced to 15 years on genocide charges

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] Wednesday sentenced a former Rwandan mayor to 15 years in prison for his participation in the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] that the Rwandan government estimates left at least 937,000 Tutsis and some Hutus dead. Paul Bisengimana, 58, struck a plea deal with ICTR prosecutors in December to plead guilty [JURIST report] to murder and extermination as crimes against humanity, but three other charges of rape and genocide from the original ICTR indictment [PDF text] were dropped.

The ICTR alleged that Bisengimana had ordered the rape of minority Tutsi women and also was involved in transporting soldiers, weapons and fuel during one attack at the Musha church during the 1994 genocide. Bisengimana initially attempted a guilty plea [JURIST report] last November, but the ICTR rejected the plea agreement due to discrepancies between it and the indictment. The ICTR has delivered 26 convictions and three acquittals since its establishment, and the UN has set a 2008 deadline for it to complete trials for 26 other suspects currently under indictment. Reuters has more.

 

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