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Rwanda: 25-year jail term for deported genocide suspect

A presiding judge at the special chamber for international and transnational crimes at the Rwanda High Court on Wednesday handed…

A presiding judge at the special chamber for international and transnational crimes at the Rwanda High Court on Wednesday handed a 25-year jail term against genocide suspect Jean Claude Iyamuremye.He was deported from the Netherlands in 2016.

The charges, which he denied include: involvement in the massacre of Tutsis who were hiding at former Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO Kicukiro) in  April 1994, as an influential member of the then ruling Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement (MRND).

According to the charges testimonies by survivors of the killings in Kicukiro suggested that Iyamuremye was behind plans to gather and shift Tutsi victims.

Through testimonies, the court said that Iyamuremye was also a powerful militia leader during the genocide and on several occasions was seen carrying weapons and attacking Tutsis alongside other militias.

Although the survivors’ testimonies differed on dates, time, and details, the court  said that their evidence cannot be dismissed since most of them were uneducated and there is the possibility of not being precise 27 years after the genocide.

The 46-year-old reportedly worked as a taxi driver for the embassies of Israel and Finland in The Hague before he was arrested in the town of Voorburg.

Iyamuremye had tried to challenge his extradition, arguing that his actions were not prohibited as such under Rwandan law in 1994.

He also claimed that Rwanda would not provide him with a fair trial. 

A Dutch court dismissed both arguments.

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