July 14, 2009

Rwandan Governor Jailed For Life For Genocide (Reuters)

* Former Kigali chief gets life for genocide, rape, murder

* Indictment said Renzaho ordered killing of 60 boys

(Adds quotes in paragraphs 9, 10)

By George Obulutsa

DAR ES SALAAM, July 14 (Reuters) - A U.N. court trying the architects of Rwanda's 1994 genocide jailed a former Kigali governor for life on five counts including ordering the killing of 60 Tutsi boys in a church-run pastoral centre.

The Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) had indicted Tharcisse Renzaho of genocide, complicity in genocide, murder and rape in the massacres in which 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed.

The court found him guilty of all except complicity in genocide.

"He has been imprisoned for life. He has been found guilty on five counts, that is of genocide, two counts of murder as crimes against humanity, two counts of rape as crimes against humanity, " Danford Mpumilwa, associate information officer, said from the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the court's seat.

Prosecutors said he was one of the massacre's main perpetrators. His name figured among nine major suspects for which the U.S. government had put out a $5 million bounty.

The court said Renzaho took part in arming participants of the genocide. He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The court accused him, along with others, of ordering the removal and killing of 60 Tutsi boys from a church-run pastoral centre. Prosecutors say Renzaho was near a Kigali hotel when an army tank shot at Tutsi houses, killing at least 40 people. He did not try to intervene.

The 65-year-old was also accused of broadcasting orders over Radio Rwanda asking police, soldiers and militia to put up roadblocks to identify and kill Tutsis.

"The chamber found that Renzaho supported the killings of Tutsis at roadblocks, which were set up following his directives. It concluded he ordered the distribution of weapons, and that persons who received them, then killed Tutsis," the ICTR said in a statement.

"He also made remarks encouraging sexual abuse of women and was found criminally liable for rape that followed."

The former army colonel was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002.

Six other prime suspects with bounties on their heads are still at large including Felicien Kabuga, said to be the main financier of the genocide.

Renzaho's sentencing brings the number of ICTR's judgments to 39. Six of these were acquittals.

The court had until the end of last year to complete all trials, and until 2010 to hear all appeals before winding up. (Editing by Richard Balmforth)


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