[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website] Friday sentenced [press release] Francois Karera [ICTR materials] to life imprisonment for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Karera, the former prefect of Kigali-Rural, was found guilty on three of four genocide and crimes against humanity counts brought against him, but was acquitted of complicity to commit genocide. In determining the sentence, the court took into account Karera's presence at a church in Ntarama sector where he directly encouraged the slaughter of several hundred Tutsis. Karera also ordered the murder of Tutsis on at least two other occasions, although it is not believed that he was present when the acts were carried out.
Karera's sentencing brings the total of those tried and convicted since 1997, when the ICTR heard its first case, to 30. The ICTR recently announced that it will be unable to complete its work [JURIST report] before its mandate expires in December 2008. The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died. Reuters has more.