Dutch court gives Rwandan life for genocide-era crimes

7th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

An appeals court in The Netherlands on Thursday sentenced a Rwandan citizen living in the country to life in prison for crimes committed during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Joseph Mpambara, 43, was found guilty by the appeals court of torture causing the deaths of two Tutsi mothers and their four children on April 13, 1994, upholding a previous lower court conviction.

The court also convicted him of having carried out an attack on a Protestant church where Tutsis had fled and for the kidnapping of three children from the same family. The lower court had previously acquitted him on these charges.

"The appeals court... sentences the suspect to life in prison," said judge Raoul Dekkers, the head of the appeals court, during a public session in The Hague.

"The appeals court is of the opinion that you have made yourself guilty of war crimes," the judge told Mpambara, qualifying his crimes as "extremely serious".

© 2011 AFP

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