A group of Rwandan dissidents were recently left with a smack in the face, after a Swedish court chose to invalidate their testimonies in their continued effort to use the Genocide against the Tutsi for their political expedience.
The Svea Appeal Court sitting in the capital Stockholm on Monday upheld the conviction of Genocide convict Theodore Rukeratabaro, for masterminding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Winteko Sector in Rusizi district.
The court also upheld the life sentence against Rukeratabaro, 50, which is the highest sentence that can be handed to convicts in the Nordic country.
Rukeratabaro fled to Sweden in 1998 and to avoid capture, altered his name to Tabaro.
He was later naturalised as a Swedish citizen in 2006, which is why the court decided that he should be tried there, instead of being extradited to Rwanda for trial.
Despite Rukeratabaro’s known role in masterminding killings in the former Cyangugu prefecture, the heartless individuals – in total disregard of the suffering of the Genocide survivors – testified before the appeal court to secure his acquittal in a bid to score a political point.
These individuals include David Himbara, Didas Gasana, Joseph Matata, Charlotte Mukankusi, Faustin Twagiramungu, Eugene Munyangoga, Sixbert Musangamfura, Noble Marara, Benoit Rugumaho and Nancy Combs, an American lawyer.
They had submitted to court seeking the acquittal of the Genocide convict by claiming that the witnesses who testified for prosecution were not valid, and were put under pressure by the Government of Rwanda to provide false testimonies.
To their dismay, the judge overruled their submission, and decided to uphold the ruling by the lower court – the Stockholm District Court.
The judge premised on the determination of the lower court, which had travelled to Rwanda during the trial on first instance, with different court officers including judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and investigators among others.
What probably the petitioners did not know, was that the Swedish investigators and prosecutors came up with the list of witnesses and the judges interviewed them in the presence of both prosecution and defence.
The gimmicks of these dissidents were at the expense of genocide survivors, especially those in Winteko, who had waited for 25 years to see justice done, by bringing to book the former police officer – then called Gendermerie – who killed their loved ones.
Good enough, court saw through all this and justice prevailed.