Former Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana has been sentenced to life in prison by a UN war crimes tribunal after being found guilty of playing an important role in the 1994 genocide.
The Arusha, Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) found Nzabonimana, 59, guilty of genocide, as well as extermination, incitement and conspiracy on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Nzabonimana, who was arrested in Tanzania in February 2008, was found to have participated in a meeting held on April 18 1994 in the town of Murambi, Gitarama province, at which the politician conspired with other ministers to encourage the killing of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, according to the Agence France Presse.
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Nzabonimana’s lead defense counsel, Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse, told the news agency that his client would “definitely appeal” and that “the appeal hearing starts now.”
Militias and army forces made up of ethnic Hutus killed about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and June 1994. The ICTR – which was established in Tanzania shortly after the genocide – is scheduled to complete its work by the end of 2014, according to the BBC.
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