Kigali, 9 March 2009 (FH) - Aboubakar Karemera, President of Gacaca Court of Kigali, accused of complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity, was last Saturday sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

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The defendant was tried by the gacaca court of Kanombe, neighbouring district of Kigali.

According to the verdict, the president of the gacaca court of the Munanira cell of the Nyakabanda sector in the Rwandan capital, Karemera was found guilty and sentenced for "illegal possession of a firearm and having held a road block, in the same cell during the genocide."

He was also found guilty of complicity in the murder of a Tutsi woman near the said road block.

On March 1, witnesses had reported that a pregnant Tutsi woman, unknown in the Munanira cell, was savagely killed and cut into pieces, before being exposed at the road block, during the genocide.

Karemera was tried alongside four other defendants, including the singer Sudi Mavenge Ngabiganje, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and Marie Nyiramitero, who was acquitted.

The gacacas (pronounced gatchatchas) courts are charged with trying the majority of the alleged authors of the 1994 genocide, which resulted, according to the UN, in nearly 800 000 people killed, primarily Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

They are presided, not by professional magistrates, but by "just people" elected from among the community. However, some of "these just people" themselves have been accused of having taken part in the genocide and yet others were arrested for corruption.


© Hirondelle News Agency