Arusha, June 30, 2010 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday sentenced the 75 year old genocide-accused and former Rwandan businessman, Yusuf Munyakazi to 25 years imprisonment after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination).   

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Handing down the verdict, Cameroonian Judge Florence Rita Arrey said Munyakazi was liable for ‘'committing'' killings against approximately 5,000 Tutsis who took refugee at Shangi parish, and another group of Tutsis housed at Mibilizi church in Cyangugu prefecture, South-West Rwanda on April 29 and 30, 1994.

‘'The Trial Chamber has found that Munyakazi was the leader of these attacks, and that he arrived with two vehicles carrying group of Interahamwe from outside the Shangi and Mibilizi areas,'' Judge Arrey affirmed.

She further stated ‘'the Trial Chamber has therefore concluded beyond reasonable doubts that Munyakazi facilitated the transportation of Bugarama Interahamwe to the two crimes cites.'' Munyakazi is a native of Bugarama commune in Cyangugu prefecture.

‘'The Chamber sentences Munyakazi to a single sentence of 25 years of imprisonment,'' concluded Judge Arrey.

However the court did not find Munyakazi guilty of the attacks which took place at Nyamasheke parish in Kagano commune because the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the accused was involved.

Tanzanian lead defence Counsel for Munyakazi, Professor Jwani Mwaikusa  told Hirondelle News Agency immediately after the verdict that he would appeal against the judgment.

On his side Ugandan Senior Prosecution Counsel Richard Karegyesa said he was happy with the conviction but thought it was light considering the nature of offences.

‘' I am not in a position to say whether we will appeal or not until we get a written judgment,'' Karegyesa said.

Munyakazi, the father of 13 children with two wives was arrested in May 2004 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where he lived as an Imam under the name of Mzee Mandevu (literally meaning in Kiswahili language, the bearded old man).

His trial started on 22 April, 2009. 


© Hirondelle News Agency