The specialised chamber for international crimes at the High Court, yesterday, handed a thirty-year imprisonment to Charles Bandora for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
This is the first sentence the chamber has delivered since it was created to mainly try suspects extradited to Rwanda from other jurisdictions.
Bandora was extradited from Norway in March 2013, following an international arrest warrant over Genocide charges.
The court found him guilty of three charges of conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity to committing and complicity to murder as a crime against humanity, and formation of an armed gang.
‘‘He will be imprisoned for 30 years with credit for time served,” ruled presiding judge Benoin Muhima.
The prosecution had argued that the crimes Bandora committed had a grave impact on many Tutsi, especially those in the former Ngenda Commune (presently Bugesera District), where he was the vice president of the genocidal MRND party.
It was also said that Bandora, who was a well known businessman in the area commanded a lot of influence, saying that he used this clout to instigate the killing of between 500 and 600 Tutsi who had sought refuge at Ruhuha Catholic Parish and others in the neighbouring areas.
Some of the witnesses brought forth by prosecution testified that Bandora participated in a meeting of April 7, 1994 from which killings were planned.
They said that, apart from the meeting, the accused supplied weapons, vehicles, food and clothes to facilitate the interahamwe militia.
However, the court found a mitigating factor in the inconsistence by some of the witnesses, thereby reducing his sentence to 30 years.
The judge, however, ruled that the fact that the suspect was an active participant in the meeting that planned the Genocide in the area and his influence on the executioners could not be ignored.
Alain Mukurarinda, the spokesperson for the National Public Prosecution Authority said the prosecution was satisfied with the ruling, adding that the defendant had been cooperative throughout the trial.
Bandora, who was following attentively, told the court that he would appeal against the ruling.
The appeal against a decision by the specialised chamber is referred to the Supreme Court.Follow @JDMbonyinshuti