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Rwanda tribunal convicts former priest of genocide

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] sentenced former priest Emmanuel Rukundo [case materials] to 25 years imprisonment Friday after convicting [press release] him of genocide, crimes against humanity, and sexual assault. Rukundo, who was a military chaplain and captain in the Rwandan Armed Forces, was found to have used his position as a priest to influence troops to abduct and kill [indictment, PDF] Tutsi refugees hiding in a seminary during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [HWR backgrounder]. The ICTR stated that his sentence was increased because he used a position of trust and authority to further the crimes. It also credited Rukundo with the seven-and-a-half years he has already spent in UN custody, leaving the balance of his term at approximately 17 years.

In 2003, UN Security Council Resolution 1503 [text, PDF] stated that the ICTR should complete all trials by 2008, but last June the ICTR requested additional time [JURIST report]. The contempt trial for a former ICTR defense investigator began earlier this month, and in January a former justice official was sentenced [JURIST reports] to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide.

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