A Rwandan court on Thursday handed a life sentence to a former politician found guilty of orchestrating the killing of tens of thousands of people during the 1994 genocide, a court spokesman said.
Ladislas Ntaganzwa, head of the commune of Nyakizu in southern Rwanda, was indicted in 1996 by the Arusha, Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on charges of direct and public incitement to commit genocide, murder and rape.
The tribunal closed five years ago and was replaced by a successor body, International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, with offices in Arusha and the Hague, Netherlands.
About 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide.
The tribunal’s indictment accused Ntaganzwa of plotting to exterminate Rwanda’s Tutsi population and personally ordering the massacre of more than 200,000 Tutsi civilians in one parish in April 1994. It passed the case to a Rwandan government court.
“Ladislas Ntaganzwa was today sentenced to life imprisonment over genocide crimes committed during the genocide against Tutsi in 1994,” the court spokesman, Harrison Mutabazi, said.
Alexis Musonera, Ntaganzwa’s lawyer, said he planned to appeal the ruling.
“We plan to appeal because evidence in the hearing was based on witnesses’ testimony but that was not enough as some witnesses were contradicting themselves. We are not happy about this lengthy life jail term,” Musonera told Reuters.