French court sentences former Rwandan official to 20 years in prison for genocide

A French court has sentenced the former governor of Rwanda’s Gikongoro Province, Laurent Busibarot, to 20 years in prison for the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.

The court found him guilty of involvement in a series of massacres committed in schools and parishes in April 1994, in which about 50,000 people were killed in a few days.

However, the court cleared him of charges of direct participation in the genocide of the Tutsi people and the execution of Tutsi prisoners in the Gikongoro prison.

The prosecutor’s office demanded a life sentence for the former official.

Busiparota, 78, has been on trial since May last year, when he was placed under judicial supervision without detention. He was imprisoned after sentencing against him.

Busiparotta’s defense denied the allegations against his client, and Busiparotta told the court that he “was never among the killers”.

Boussiparota and his lawyer will have 10 days to appeal.

Human rights organizations expressed satisfaction with the verdict, as 20 years’ imprisonment was considered an adequate punishment, given the age of the convicted person. But she questioned whether he would be acquitted on charges of direct involvement in the crimes, noting that at the time the county governor had significant powers in the Rwandan regime.

Media reports that Bushibaruta is the highest-ranking Rwandan official who was tried in France in cases related to the genocide of the Tutsi people in Rwanda.

Source: agencies

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