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Rwanda genocide suspect to face trial in Stockholm

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Rwanda genocide suspect to face trial in Stockholm
File photo of a Swedish court. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
07:27 CEST+02:00
A Swedish national is to face trial in September in Stockholm for his alleged role in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

Theodore Tabaro, 49, has been charged with “genocide through murder, attempted murder, rapes and kidnappings” against the Tutsi minority, according to a court statement.

The alleged crimes took place between April 9th and May 31st, 1994, in the Winteko, Nyakanyinya and Mibirizi sectors, in south-western Rwanda, according to the charge sheet, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

Tabaro, whose name appears on a list of wanted genocide suspects published by Rwandan authorities, was involved in the genocide “in the role of organizing, recruiting and inciting, and also executing” massacres, according to the charges.

On April 9th in Winteko he allegedly took part in, together with other Hutu militia, the massacre of numerous civilians and the raping of women and young girls.

On April 13th, he is said to have participated in an attack on a Nyakanyinya school where several hundred people, including many children, were killed or seriously injured by grenades, gunfire and knives. Several days later, he allegedly also took part in an attack on a church in Mibirizi.

Investigators and prosecutors have questioned witnesses and survivors in Rwanda, Europe and North America.

At least 36 dead and seven rape victims have been identified. Some 30 other survivors and family members of the victims are among the plaintiffs.

Tabaro denies the charges against him, prosecutor Hanna Lemoine told AFP.

Tabaro was arrested at his home in Örebro, 160 kilometres west of Stockholm, in October 2016. He came to Sweden in 1998 and became a citizen in 2006.

In 2014 and 2016, Swedish courts convicted two other naturalized Rwandans, Stanislas Mbanenande and Claver Berinkidi, sentencing them to life in prison for their roles in the genocide.

According to the United Nations some 800,000 people, mainly minority Tutsis, were killed in the Rwandan genocide, which began after the assassination of Rwanda's Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana in April 1994.

Rwandans who took part in the genocide have also been sentenced in the United States, Canada, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France for their role in the killings.

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