Rwandan Court sentences to life imprisonment Ex-mayor Ladislas Ntaganzwa over fueling 1994 genocide.

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Court sitting in Rwanda yesterday sentenced the Ex- mayor to life for his role in the historical 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed lives of over 80,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Harrison Mutabazi, the court spokesperson in Rwanda confirmed that yesterday Thursday May 28th,2020, Ladislas Ntaganzwa was sentenced to life imprisonment over genocide crimes committed during the genocide against Tutsi in 1994.

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History still recalls that Ntaganzwa, a former mayor of Nyakizu in southern Rwanda, was indicted in 1996 by the Tanzania’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (in Arusha), on charges of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, murder and rape.

In an indictment statement, Ntaganzwa is said to have addressed the Tutsis asking them to lay down their arms and ordered for their immediate massacre to begin, whereupon the gendarmes and communal police shot at the crowd.

Additionally, the statement pinned him of plotting an extermination and  massacre of more than 25,000 Tutsi civilians in his town in April 1994. The tribunal later passed the case to a Rwandan government court.

It should be noted that US had offered $5m to whoever provided any information regarding Ntaganzwa’s arrest.

He was in 2015 arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) whereafter in March 2016 the Rwandan government put him behind the bars.

The court that operated virtually via video conferencing at Mpanga prison seen him (Ntaganzwa) being slapped with a life sentence judgement.

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However, his Lawyer Alex Musonera stated that his client plans to appeal arguing that evidence in the hearing was based on witnesses’ testimony which he claims some became so nervous and contradicted themselves before the juries.

“We plan to appeal because evidence in the hearing was based on witnesses’ testimony but that was not enough as some witnesses were contradicting themselves. We are not happy about this lengthy life jail term,” Musonera told the Reuters news agency. 

The International Criminal Tribunal closed five years ago and was replaced by a successor body, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, with offices in Arusha and The Hague, Netherlands. This tribunal hears criminal cases for Rwanda.

The April 1994 Rwandan Genocide was a tribal civil war between the Tutsi  and the Hutu tribe. Over 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide.

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Ntaganzwa’s life sentence judgement follow French court orders to reject the request to grant a bail to Felicien Kabuga the genocide’s prime suspect who was arrested in Paris France on May16th.

Kabuga was arrested on allegations that he financed and supplied machetes to the Hutus against the Tutsis something that accordingly fuelled the genocide.

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