French appeals court upholds life sentence for two Genocide convicts

The former mayors Ngenzi and Barahira. (Net)

After two months of trial, a French Court on Friday upheld a life sentence for two Rwandans who were sentenced to life imprisonment two years ago after being found guilty of Genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The verdict was given late Friday at the Paris Cour d'Assises in an appeal case of Octavian Ngenzi and Tito Barahira, successive Mayors (Bourgmestres) of the previously Kabarondo Commune, now part of the current Kayonza District, which started May 2.

On Friday night, the Collectif des Parties Civiles pour le Rwanda (CPCR), a rights group which has for nearly two decades worked to bring Genocide suspects living in France to book, issued a statement welcoming the decision of the French justice as a just decision, "without hatred nor revenge" but also recalled that many other people suspected of crimes against humanity and Genocide continue to reside, with impunity, on French soil.

The two men are accused of participating in killings of Tutsi refugees at Kabarondo Catholic Church in April 1994 where more than 1,200 were killed.


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