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Ex-Rwandan Military Commander To 27-Year Jail Term


UN Tribunal Sentences Ex-Rwandan Military Commander To 27-Year Jail Term

The United Nations war crimes tribunal for Rwanda today sentenced a former military commander in the country's armed forces to 27 years in prison for his role in a massacre during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The three judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda ( http://www.ictr.org/wwwroot/default.htm ICTR), sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, also acquitted a former government minister and a former regional prefect of similar charges in the "Cyangugu" case, named for the prefecture where the killings took place.

Samuel Imanishimwe was convicted of six charges, including genocide, murder and torture, in connection with the slaughter of mostly Tutsi civilians in the area in April 1994.

The ICTR heard evidence of the killings "of massive numbers" of Tutsi civilians and Hutu political opponents by soldiers, Interahamwe militias and locals at the Gashirabowba football field, and in the Shangi, Mibilizi and Nyamasheke parishes.

The judges acquitted André Ntagerura, a former Minister of Transport and Communications, after concluding prosecutors had not proven his criminal responsibility beyond reasonable doubt. They also found there was no credible evidence Mr. Ntagerura expressed public support for the killings.

The ICTR also acquitted Emmanuel Bagambiki because it could not be proved he had a superior-subordinate relationship with the soldiers or gendarmes who killed Tutsis in Kagano commune. Mr. Bagambiki was also cleared of charged he trained and distributed weapons to Interahamwe militias.

The UN Security Council created the ICTR to hear cases after some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered between April and June 1994 in Rwanda.

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