A court in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday sentenced former Rwandan mayor Onesphore Rwabukombe,to 14 years in prison for his role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [UN backgrounder]. Rwabukombe was convicted [DW report] of ordering the April 11, 1994, massacre of between 400 and 1200 ethnic Tutsis who had taken refuge from ethnic violence in a church in Kiziguro, where Rwabukombe was mayor. The prosecution in the case had sought life imprisonment for the former mayor. The defense contended that Germany was an inappropriate venue for the trial and are expected to appeal. Rwabukombe had been living as a political refugee in Germany since 2002 before being detained in July 2010 in connection with the trial.The three-year trial was the first related to the Rwandan genocide to take place in Germany.
Earlier this month the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] announced [JURIST report] that Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the former chief of staff of the Rwandan parliamentary police, and Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, the former commander of a military reconnaissance battalion, had been acquitted on appeal. Also in February a French court opened the trial [JURIST report] against former Rwandan intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa in the country's first trial of a suspect related to the genocide. In January the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai praised [JURIST report] Rwandan authorities' accomplishments in developing infrastructure and ensuring stability and security 1994. In November a French appeals court in Paris approved the extradition [JURIST report] of Claude Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana, two suspects wanted in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide.