Kigali, 30 June 2008 (FH) - A former cell official of the Cyivugiza in Nyamirambo sector of Kigali, Jeremie Ndabagumije, 52, has been sentenced to life in prison in absentia after he was found guilty of planning and his direct involvement in the 1994 killings by the semi-traditional Gacaca court of the Nyamirambo sector, Nyarugenge district of Kigali, reports Hirondelle Agency. The accused participated in the distribution of weapons, missions which killed ethnic Tutsis, presided over the crisis committee which supervised the genocide and in looting and destruction of goods.

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He was also was found guilty of drawing a list of ethnic Tutsis to be killed in Nyamirambo, according to the court’s ruling.
He was also struck with “civic degradation”, under the terms of Article 76 of the gacaca courts and cannot benefit from community service as an alternative sentence to imprisonment.
Called as a prosecution witness, a former adviser of the same sector, Celestin Sezibera, admitted of having received from the former Governor of Kigali, Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, rifles to be distributed in Nyamirambo, in particular, to Ndabagumije himself. Colonel Renzaho is in detention in Arusha and is awaiting his judgement from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The witness, who has been classified in the first category category of planners of the genocide, is being held at the central prison of Kigali while waiting for his trial.
According to several prosecution witnesses, all in detention, Ndabagumije, a native of the former prefecture of Ruhengeri, considered as a stronghold of the former regime of President Juvenal Habyarimana, has reportedly fled to Masisi, east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down by unknown assailants on April 6, 1994 as it was approaching the capital, Kigali, which sparked the genocide. He was returning from a peace meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Also killed in the plane was Burundi’s President, Cyprien Ntaryamira.