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Rwanda ex-official released after completing ICTR crimes against humanity sentence

[JURIST] Former Rwandan councillor Vincent Rutaganira [TrialWatch profile] was released Sunday after completing a six-year jail sentence [JURIST report] for crimes against humanity, according to a statement [text] Monday by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ITCR) [official website]. Rutaganira was convicted by the ITCR in March 2005 after pleading guilty to one count of "extermination as an accomplice by omission to a crime against humanity." ITCR judges found that Rutaganira, a former local government official in the Mubuga sector in western Rwanda, knew in advance about a planned attack in which thousands of Tutsis were killed, but did nothing to prevent it. At the time, Rutaganira's sentence was the shortest ever imposed by the court, which considered his voluntary surrender, his ill health and his advanced age in reaching its decision. Rutaganira also received credit for time already served after his 2002 arrest. The UN News Centre has more.

The ICTR was established by the UN in 1995 to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict [HRW backgrounder] between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, were killed.

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