KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwanda’s High Court sentenced a former high-ranking politician and businessman on Friday to 30 years in jail for involvement in the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 minority Tutsi and politically moderate Hutus died.
Charles Bandora, once a senior member of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) party, denied complicity in the attempt to exterminate Tutsis.
The three judges hearing his case found Bandora guilty of plotting and carrying out the killings of between 500 and 600 Tutsi who had sought refuge at Ruhuha Catholic Parish in Bugesera district in eastern Rwanda during the genocide.
The prosecution said Bandora took part in a meeting in April 1994 of business people and members of the then ruling party that drew up a list of Tutsi who were to be killed.
The prosecution said that after the meeting the business people started distributing machetes to the mobs outside the building where they had just met.
“The court finds that Bandora gave orders to kill the Tutsi at Ruhuha,” the court said.
Bandora, bespectacled and wearing pink uniform given to Rwandan prisoners, said the testimony given against him was false.
“I appeal (against the verdict) and I want it to be recorded,” he said.
He was arrested in Norway on June 2010 and was extradited to Rwanda in March 2013.
In addition to those tried in Rwanda, others accused of involvement in the genocide have been tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, in France and in Germany.
Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Ruth Pitchford