37 get varying jail terms over Genocide

RUSIZI – A Gacaca Court in Nkanka sector, Rusizi District has handed different sentences to a group of 37 men convicted of Genocide charges.

RUSIZI – A Gacaca Court in Nkanka sector, Rusizi District has handed different sentences to a group of 37 men convicted of Genocide charges.

The 37 are part of a group of 43 men in Muramba cell who were summoned by the court in August, after residents, unearthed remains of an unidentified victim at a construction site.

Those charged  were accused of erecting a roadblock at the very spot where the remains of the victim were unearthed.

The court proceedings, which lasted for over 9 hours took place at the former offices of Nkanka sector.

Presiding over the session, Theogene Niyobuhungiro, the president of Nkanka Gacaca Court, said the evidence provided by witnesses -among them survivors and some genocide convicts serving their sentences at Cyangugu Prison- proved that the suspects were responsible for death of the unidentified victim.

“Although all of you deny responsibility…depending on the reliable evidence we have received by witnesses proves beyond any reasonable doubt that you are among those responsible for  killing the victim.

Further still none of you had reported about the whereabouts of his remains to the concerned authorities in the sector prior to the assembly of this case,” he said.

After the verdict, the convicts were bundled into a security vehicle which whisked them to Cyangugu Central Prison, amid tight security, where they are expected to serve their sentences.

According to security authorities in the area, the hearing of the case delayed because 19 men out of the 37 had fled after receiving the court summons. They were however apprehended by security organs before being made to appear before court. 

Speaking to The New Times, the area residents especially survivors were happy with the verdict, calling on Gacaca courts to always punish those who deliberately refuse to disclose where remains of victims were dumped.

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