A UN court trying the architects of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide jailed a former Kigali governor for life on five counts including ordering the killing of 60 Tutsi boys in a church-run pastoral centre.
The Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) had indicted Tharcisse Renzaho of genocide, complicity in genocide, murder and rape in the massacres in which 800 000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed.
The court found him guilty of all except complicity in genocide, Reuters reports.
“He has been imprisoned for life. He has been found guilty on five counts, that is of genocide, two counts of murder as crimes against humanity, two counts of rape as crimes against humanity, ” Danford Mpumilwa, associate information officer, said from the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the court’s seat.
Prosecutors said he was one of the massacre’s main perpetrators. His name figured among nine major suspects for which the US government had put out a $5 million (R40 million) bounty.
The court said Renzaho took part in arming participants of the genocide. He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The court accused him, along with others, of ordering the removal and killing of 60 Tutsi boys from a church-run pastoral centre.
Prosecutors say Renzaho was near a Kigali hotel when an army tank shot at Tutsi houses, killing at least 40 people. He did not try to intervene.
The 65-year-old was also accused of broadcasting orders over Radio Rwanda asking police, soldiers and militia to construct and supervise roadblocks to intercept, identify and kill Tutsis.
The former army colonel was arrested in the DRC in 2002.
Six other prime suspects with bounties are still at large including Felicien Kabuga, said to be the main financier of the genocide.
Renzaho’s sentencing brings the number of ICTR’s judgements to 39. Six of these were acquittals.
The court had until the end of last year to complete all trials, and until 2010 to hear all appeals before winding up.