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Canada court clears Rwandan genocide suspect

The Ontario Superior Court [official website] on Friday acquitted Jacques Mungwarere of one count of genocide by murder and one count of crimes against humanity by murder. The charges arose from Mungwarere's alleged involvement in a massacre during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Judge Michel Charbonneau found that Mungwarere was likely guilty but ruled that the evidence was not clear enough to overcome reasonable doubt [Ottawa Citizen report]. Mungwarere is the second person in Canada to be tried under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act [text]. The Crown prosecutor has 30 days to appeal the ruling.

Other countries have also decided to prosecute individuals suspected suspect of involvement in Rwanda's 1994 genocides. In April a court in France ordered Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan Army Captain, to stand trial for crimes against humanity [JURIST report] committed during the genocide. In March a Dutch court convicted Yvonne Basebya, a Dutch citizen born in Rwanda, of inciting genocide [JURIST report] in Rwanda. In February a Norwegian Court sentenced a Rwandan man [JURIST report] to 21 years for being an accomplice in the Rwandan genocide.

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