Genocide: Rwandan jailed in Germany

2014-02-18 16:52
File, AFP

File, AFP

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Frankfurt - A German court on Tuesday sentenced to 14 years in jail a former Rwandan town mayor for ordering a massacre of hundreds of people in a church during the 1994 genocide.

The man, Onesphore Rwabukombe, 56, had since 2002 lived in Germany, where he had applied for political asylum.

The former mayor of the town of Muvumba in north-eastern Rwanda was found guilty of aiding genocide.

Prosecutors had asked for a term of life in jail over the killings, while the defence had demanded an acquittal in the trial at the higher regional court in the western city of Frankfurt.

It was the first case heard in Germany related to the Rwanda genocide, in which an estimated 800 000 people, the overwhelming majority of them ethnic Tutsis, were killed between April and July 1994.

The three-year trial had heard more than 100 witnesses, and Germany had sent criminal investigators to Rwanda.

Germany has prosecuted suspected war criminals from the Nazi era and the former Yugoslavia for genocide but this is the first time it has tried someone for alleged links to the Rwandan bloodletting.

The Frankfurt court heard the case because Germany did not want to extradite the defendant to Rwanda, fearing he would not receive a fair trial, and as international courts in The Hague and Tanzania did not ask to handle the case.

Read more on:    germany  |  rwanda  |  east africa  |  1994 rwandan genocide
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