Munyagishari sentenced to life for genocide

The High Court yesterday sentenced Bernard Munyagishari to life imprisonment after finding him guilty on two counts.

Munyagishari, 57, was convicted of participation in the Genocide against the Tutsi, and killing as a crime against humanity.

He was cleared of rape as the Prosecution failed to present convincing evidence.

During the Genocide, Munyagishari worked in the then ruling party’s secretariat, and attended several meetings in which the Genocide was prepared, the court said.

He was referred to Rwanda for trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in July 2013.

Witnesses testified that every Wednesday and Saturday, Munyagishari used to train Interahamwe militia and supplied them with weapons to use in the killings.

He also played a major role in drawing up lists of Tutsi to be killed and contributed to setting up roadblocks where Tutsi were slaughtered, the judge added.

At the beginning of the hearing, Munyagishari denounced the two lawyers assigned to him by the Rwanda Bar Association claiming they had misunderstandings with their previous clients.

However, the duo, namely Bruce Bikotwa and Jeanne d’Arc Umutesi, continued to help him throughout the trial after the court said his claims were baseless.

His lawyers told the court that they would appeal the sentence.