30.10.07 - RWANDA/GACACA - A 60-YEAR-OLD MAN SENTENCED TO THIRTY YEARS BY AN APPEALS COURT

  Kamonyi (Southern Rwanda), 30 October 2007 (FH) - Antoine Mpakaniye, 60, originally from the Kamonyi district, South Province, was sentenced by an appeals court last Saturday to 30 years in prison for his participation in the genocide, noted the Hirondelle agency.
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The appeals court of the Nyamagabe Sector found Mpakaniye guilty of acts of genocide, in particular of the murder of Catherine Nyirakaramira, as well as criminal association and conspiracy. He has already spent 13 years in prison.
 
Before the first instance court of the same sector, the defendant had been found not guilty on 16 October. A victim had appeal the judgment by alleging that she had had her right to speak refused and that the case had been stripped of all the evidence of guilt.
 
Protected by anonymity, an appeals judge recognized these irregularities and seized the initial case. Persons responsible for the "washing" of the case, including the defendant's son, were temporarily placed in detention before being released by the local police, confirmed several sources. The local police remain mute on this subject.
 
This case generated another case after members of the Mpakaniye family, including his wife Melanie Nyirahabyarimana, were accused of having ambushed and beaten two witnesses at the exit of the last trial. "Aside from aggravated assault, these persons are accused of genocide ideology and trivializing the genocide. They were acquitted by the court, but I appealed on the basis of new evidence ", explained Christine Hitimana, officer of the public ministry for the first instance court of Gacurabwenge, in the same district.

SRE/PB/MM
 
© Hirondelle News Agency