Finnish Appeals Court begins Genocide trial

The Helsinki Court of Appeal in Finland, has begun the trial of Genocide suspect Francois Bazaramba.The court is again likely to travel to Rwanda, and possibly to Zambia, to question witnesses during a trial that could end in November this year.

The Helsinki Court of Appeal in Finland, has begun the trial of Genocide suspect Francois Bazaramba.

The court is again likely to travel to Rwanda, and possibly to Zambia, to question witnesses during a trial that could end in November this year.

Commenting on the development, Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga, said: “We shall just continue to extend the cooperation required of us and let the process take its course. It is good the process is advancing towards its legal finality”.

In June last year, a court in Ita-Uusimaa, handed Bazaramba, a former cleric in the current Southern Province, a life sentence for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

At the time, the judges averred that there were no grounds for a retrial, and did not accept the argument that the presiding judge was unfit to hear the case as alleged by Bazaramba's defence counsel.

Bazaramba was convicted on two charges; intent to destroy the Tutsi population in Maraba, and spreading malicious propaganda calling for the extermination of the Tutsi.

Bazaramba allegedly masterminded the killing of over 5,000 people in Nyakizu, Southern Province, organised and maintained night patrols and roadblocks, forcing the Tutsi to leave their homes.

He also purportedly organised the setting on fire and destruction of their homes and property.

Bazaramba sought asylum in Finland in 2003 and was arrested in 2007.

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