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Rwanda genocide suspect pleads not guilty before Canada court

Jacques Mungwarere, a former Rwandan school teacher, pleaded not guilty before the Ontario Superior Court Monday to two charges relating to his involvement in the Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Mungwarere was charged [JURIST report] with one count of genocide by murder and one count of crimes against humanity by murder. He is the second Rwandan genocide suspect to be charged under Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act [text, PDF] since its enactment in 2000. Mungwarere was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) [official website] in 2009. He opted for a trial by judge only. The trial proceeded [CBC report] Monday with testimony from professor Timothy Longman who lived in Rwanda before the genocide.

Desire Munyaneza [Trial Watch profile] was the first suspect who was charged under the act. He was sentenced [JURIST report] to life in prison by the Superior Court of Quebec [official website] after being convicted [JURIST report] on seven counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In January, the Canadian government deported [JURIST report] Leon Mugesera, another Rwandan war crimes suspect, because the Superior Court of Quebec ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction over immigration cases. He was accused of delivering a speech urging fellow Hutus to murder members of the Tutsi minority which directly led to the mass killing during the genocide.

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