Arusha, June 2, 2011(FH) - A Gacaca Court in the Eastern Province of Rwanda Wednesday handed a life sentence to Augustin Nkundabazungu, former cashier of Murambi commune, for his involvement in the genocide, a Rwandan daily newspaper, The New Times, reported on Thursday.

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Nkundabazungu was first sentenced in absentia by the same court. He was found guilty of several counts jointly with Jean Baptiste Gatete, who had been Mayor of Murambi, before the genocide.

Gatete was indicted at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity and on March 29, 2011, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He decided to appeal against the judgment and the sentence.

"Basing on the evidence and testimonies from witnesses, the court has found Nkundabazungu guilty of mobilizing people to commit genocide, leading Interahamwe militias to kill Tutsi in Murambi and setting up roadblocks where many Tutsi were killed," the court ruled, according to The New Times.

"Nkundabazungu also participated in many attacks that killed Tutsi at Kiziguro parish. The court therefore sentences Nkundabazungu to life imprisonment with special provisions", The New Times goes on quoting the judgement.

The former cashier questioned the court's jurisdictions, arguing his case was complex and needed to be tried by the High Court.

Consequently, he refused to sign court documents after his sentence was pronounced.  "I cannot sign on these papers ... Only God is the Judge," he said.

Nkundabazungu,was arrested in Uganda and extradited to Rwanda in August, last year.


© Hirondelle News Agency