KARONGI - A Gacaca court in Karongi district Thursday handed a life sentence in absentia to a Holland-based UN employee for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Stanislas Mbanenande was convicted on four counts related to Genocide, which earned him the highest sentence in the Rwandan legal books.
The presiding judge found Mbanenande guilty of leading a militia gang that massacred people in Bisesero and Ruhiro, illegal possession of a firearm and personally taking part in the killings.
“Life sentence became the heaviest punishment replacing the death penalty and Mbanenande deserves it because of the magnitude of the crimes he committed,” said the judge.
In a related development, a similar court in Ruhengeri, Musanze district yesterday acquitted the former Mayor of Karongi district who was arrested early this year on Genocide charges.
Jean Baptiste Hakizimana had also earlier been jailed for allegedly defrauding the district of over Rwf100, 000 which he was ordered to repay.
Hakizimana, who used to work as a journalist with the national radio before and during the Genocide, was in charge of Economic Affairs at the district and had been accused of using the media to incite the Genocide but court found him innocent.