11.05.09 - RWANDA/BURUNDI - EX-BURUNDIAN REFUGEE GETS LIFE JAIL FOR HIS ROLE IN RWANDAN GENOCIDE

Kigali, 11 May 2009 (FH) - A Burundian who was tried in absentia, Albert Nahimana, was sentenced Sunday to life in prison by semi-traditional Gacaca Court of Kigali which found him guilty of participation in the 1994 genocide.
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The convict, who also goes under the pseudonym of "Gikongoro", was a refugee but indulged in business activities in the district of Kigali during the genocide.

Classified in the category of the "renowned killers", Nahimana was found guilty of criminal conspiracy, complicity in the murder of several people in Nyakabanda (a district of Kigali), illegal detention and distribution of firearms, road blocks, breaking and looting.

According to sources in Nyakabanda, he had been tried and acquitted in 1999 by a conventional court.

Since then, he crossed the Rwandan-Burundian border and was allegedly pursuing his business activities now in Bujumbura.

Augustin Nkusi, Spokesperson of Rwandan Prosecutor General, said that Kigali has handed to Bujumbura a list of 696 Burundian refugees who were living in Rwanda and allegedly participated in the 1994 mass slaughter.

The Burundian Hutu refugees have also been named in many testimonies before the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), trying key suspects of the 100-day heinous killings, worst in modern century.

A Burundian suspected of having taken part in the genocide, Lazare Kabaya Kobagaya, was arrested last month in the United States.

Rwanda has asked for the extradition of Kabogaya, who has already obtained American citizenship.

According to UN estimates, about 800,000 people were killed in 1994, mainly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

SRE/ER/MM/SC/GF

© Hirondelle News Agency