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Swede gets life sentence for involvement in Rwanda genocide

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Swede gets life sentence for involvement in Rwanda genocide
Press at a trial linked to Rwanda genocide in 2015. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
13:00 CEST+02:00
A Swedish man has been sentenced by a Stockholm court for involvement in the genocide against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda in 1994.

The 49-year-old man had a Rwandan background and according to prosecutors carried out a "leading role on a local level" in the killings.

He was charged with genocide through murder, attempted murder, aggravated rape and kidnapping of members of the Tutsi minority, with the aim to completely or partially destroy the group. He was sentenced for all of the above, with the exception of the rape charges which the court judged could not be proven.

READ ALSO: Rwanda genocide suspect to face trial in Stockholm

According to the prosecution, many of the victims were children.

The man, who denied all charges, received a life sentence and must also pay compensation of between 25,000 and 102,000 kronor to 16 Rwandans.

Many of the victims and witnesses were questioned in Rwanda, where Swedish authorities also visited the scenes of the alleged crimes, including a monastery where civilians took shelter during the violence and a school, where around 800 Tutsi people were sent. The 49-year-old is said to have thrown hand grenades in the building and set it on fire, as well as shooting, stabbing and beating people to death.

The man is now the third person to have been sentenced in Sweden for involvement in the Rwandan genocide, which took place between April and July 1994 and in which around 800,000 civilians died, according to UN figures.

In 2014 and 2016, Swedish courts convicted two other naturalized Rwandans and sentenced them to life in prison for their roles in the genocide.

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.

READ ALSO: Swede, 61, jailed for life over Rwanda genocide

 

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