Rwandan businessman sentenced to 30 years in prison for 1994 massacre

November 2nd, 2010 - 2:21 am ICT by BNO News  

ARUSHA, TANZANIA (BNO NEWS) — A Rwandan businessman on Monday was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the 1994 genocide, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said.

Gaspard Kanyarukiga was a former businessman in Kigali and Kivumu. He was charged in a four count indictment of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination).

Trial Chamber II found Kanyarukiga guilty of genocide and extermination as crime against humanity. However, he was acquitted of the complicity in genocide count.

The Chamber, composed of Judges Taghrid Hikmet, Presiding, Seon Ki Park and Joseph Masanche, said that it was beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was criminally responsible of planning the killing of members of the Tutsi ethnic group at the Nyange church.

The charge of extermination as crime against humanity was determined after the Chamber considered that the demolition of the Nyange church was part of a widespread attack against the Tutsi civilian population on ethnic grounds.

It was also determined that Kanyarukiga knew that his acts were part of a broader attack. The defendant even participated in a mass killing of people from the Tutsi ethnic group.

Kanyarukiga was arrested on July 16, 2004 under the request of the ICTR. He was transferred to the United Nations Detention facility in Arusha on July 19. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on July 22.

On April 10, 1994, local police and various officials of the government gathered Tutsi refugees in the parish of Nyange. After a two-day siege, almost 2,000 Tutsi refugees were killed after Rwandan officials determined to bulldoze the church down.

Overall, approximately 800,000 people were killed in 1994 in Rwanda over the course of 100 days. The ICTR previously began the trial against former mayor Grégoire Ndahimana for planning, instigating, ordering, aiding and abetting the Nyange killings

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