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A judge today declared a mistrial after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict in the immigration case of a woman accused of hiding her alleged past as a killer in Rwanda's genocide of 1994.
A federal judge in New Hampshire today declared a mistrial in the case of a Rwandan woman accused of hiding her alleged role in her country’s 1994 genocide in order to be come a US citizen, according to The Associated Press.
Beatrice Munyenyezi risked being stripped of her US citizenship and being sent back to Rwanda after federal prosecutors said she had been an extremist agent of the Hutu majority government which killed up to a million members of the Tutsi ethnic minority from April to August of 1994.
The UN’s Rwanda tribunal sentenced Munyenyezi’s husband Arsene Shalom Ntahobali to life in prison last June.
According to the AP, jurors had informed the court as early as Tuesday that they were unable to agree on a verdict. Judge Steven McAuliffe gave them the day off yesterday but they returned today for deliberations and deadlocked again.
The AP had reported earlier this month that prosecution witnesses told the court they had seen Munyenyezi oversee rapes and killings and that one had seen her shoot a nun next to a mass grave in Butare.
But The Concord Monitor had also reported that relatives had testified in Munyenyezi’s favor, claiming she had stayed home during the violence as she was pregnant with twins and that she had never worn a uniform or carried a gun during the time of the genocide.
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According to the AP, a similar immigration fraud trial arising out of the Rwandan genocide also resulted in a deadlocked jury in Kansas in May of last year.
Munyenyezi testified in her husband’s favor at this trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda but did not speak in her own defense at in the New Hampshire case, the news agency said.
It was unclear what actions, in any, prosecutors would take next.