Kigali, 1 July 2008 (FH) - Jean Marie Vianney Uwanyirigira, 31 , who was masquerading under the name of Nyirigira and who had been released in 2001 by a presidential pardon, was sentenced on Sunday to 15-years- prison by the semi-traditional Gacaca court of Cyivugiza, in the Nyamirambo sector of Kigali, reports Hirondelle Agency. Uwanyirigira was found guilty and convicted of complicity in the murder of several women and children of Leoncie Habinda’s family and others, according to the verdict.

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Several witnesses, including a child who escaped from the killers, stated that the accused was part of a group of killers who, because of the great number of women and children, had locked up them in a house and would kill them in small groups.
Classified in the second category of the genocide perpetrators, the young man, who had pleaded not guilty, was sentenced under the terms of Article 78 because of his young age at the time of the genocide.
Arrested and imprisoned in 1995, under the name of Nyirigira, when he was 18 years old, the young man had kept this identity when he was released from prison in 2001.
“That distorted the investigations for a long time. We had to go to get his baptism certificate. It indicated that his real name was Uwanyirigira and that his real date of birth was in 1977 and not 1981 as his identity card indicates”, a member of the bench told Hirondelle Agency.
“The gacaca courts do not have the jurisdiction to try crimes of forgery and the use of forged documents, the case will be forwarded to the traditional courts”, stated the verdict.
The Gacaca courts are not presided by professional judges, but by community members of high integrity.