Rwandan genocide appeal begins

2011-08-22 13:13

Helsinki – The appeals trial began in Helsinki today of a Rwandan described by prosecutors as one of the most important leaders of the Hutu genocide of minority Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994.

Francois Bazaramba (60) was convicted of acts of genocide in a lower court in June last year and sentenced to life in prison, although he was acquitted of several of the murder charges, according to court documents obtained by AFP.

Both sides appealed the verdict in April.

“(Francois) Bazaramba was one of the most significant leaders of genocide in the Nyakizu province (of Rwanda),” according to documents from the office of state prosecutor Raija Toiviainen.

Bazaramba, who moved to Finland in 2003 and has sought asylum in the Nordic country, denied the genocide charges.

The defendant, a Hutu, was accused among other things of murdering or ordering the murder of numerous Tutsis in the province, including women and children.

He was further accused of systematically persecuting and displacing Tutsis and seizing their property, and for participating in and partly ordering an ethnic purge in Cyahinda province which left 37 000 people dead, including crowds of Tutsis and moderate Hutus who had sought shelter in a church.

According to the ruling of the district court of Itae-Uusimaa last year, “For those crimes, the only possible punishment is life imprisonment.”

Bazaramba was arrested by Finnish police in April 2007 on suspicion of taking part in the Rwandan genocide, in which at least 800 000 people, most of them ethnic Tutsis, were killed within six weeks by Hutu extremists.

Finnish courts decided to try Bazaramba since the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, set up in Tanzania by the United Nations, was no longer accepting new cases.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.