Kigali, 3 September 2009 (FH) - The former President of Chamber of Deputies, Alfred Mukezamfura, who was tried in absentia in Kigali, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison after being found guilty of genocide committed against mainly ethnic Tutsis in 1994, reported on Thursday Radio Rwanda.

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Mukezamfura, who allegedly fled to Belgium, was tried by the gacaca court of the Nyakabanda sector, in the Rwandan capital.

The former legislator was sentenced for an editorial published during the genocide in Imvaho, a governmental newspaper, managed at the time by Mukezemfura himself.

The bench concluded that this editorial constituted an incitement to commit genocide, added the radio service.

After 1994, Mukezamfura had left journalism for a political career which led him to head the Chamber of Deputies in 2003.

But, following the gravity of the charges of genocide which weighed against him, he was not able to run in the legislative elections of last September.

Several other former members of the Chamber of Deputies, which Mukezamfura presided, have been tried and sentenced for genocide.   

Among them are Elisée Bisengimana and Emmanuel Mwumvaneza, both of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, in power), and Etienne Magali of the Liberal Party (PL).    

In May, the legislator Béatrice Nirere (RPF) was sentenced to life in prison. She was followed in June by the Senator Stanley Safari, who succeeded in fleeing the country the day before his judgement.


© Hirondelle News Agency