Kigali, 7 April 2009 (FH) - Aboubakar Karemera, President of semi-traditional Gacaca Court in Kigali, who was accused of complicity to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in 1994, was acquitted on appeal on Sunday, reports Hirondelle Agency.

0 min 55Approximate reading time

"The court finds Karemera not guilty of all crimes leveled against him", declared the Presiding Judge, Tharcisse Rindiro, of Kanombe Court, also in the Rwandan capital.

 On 9 March, another court in Kanombe had sentenced him to 30 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm, for road block during and to have deliberately hidden cases of alleged authors of the 1994 genocide.

 These alleged genocidaires, who were on trial alongside Karemera, were also acquitted. Among them, the singer Sudi Ngabiganje Mavenge, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in first degree.

 "If I did not mention these cases, it is that the investigations (of the national service of the gacaca courts) specified to us that the possession of a firearm was not in itself a crime, but rather the use of it. "However, none of us threatened anybody with his weapon", explained Karemera, in an interview with Hirondelle Agency.

"My conviction in the first judgement surprised and annoyed me. I am now relieved: I always fought for justice for everyone", he added.

 The gacaca courts are not presided by professional magistrates, but by people of high esteem in the community.   


© Hirondelle News Agency