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Ex-Rwandan army officer sentenced to 25 years for genocide

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] sentenced [summary of judgment] a former Rwandan army officer to 25 years in prison on Tuesday on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity connected to the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that left at least 937,000 Tutsis and Hutus dead. Lt. Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi, the former Commander of the Rwandan military school, was convicted [ICTR press release] for his role in the ethnic separation and subsequent killing of orphan children and the killing of at least 140 students and Red Cross workers. Meanwhile, Jean Mpambara, a former mayor of Rukara commune in the Kibungo Prefecture of Rwanda [JURIST news archive], was acquitted [judgment] of genocide charges and his alleged involvement [ICTR press release] in three different massacres of Tutsi civilians.

To date, ICTR has rendered 29 judgments, and a 2008 deadline has been set to complete the trials of the remaining 27 suspects. The Rwandan Parliament [official website] will vote [JURIST report] on a bill in December aimed at abolishing capital punishment in an effort to encourage other countries to extradite suspects who remain at large. Except for the US, other nations have refused to extradite suspects, noting they might face the death penalty upon their return. AP has more.

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