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Former Rwanda mayors go on trial in France

[JURIST] Two former Rwandan mayors went on trial Tuesday in the Assize Court of Paris [official website, in French] on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The two men, Tito Barahira and Octavien Ngenzi, are accused [Le Monde report, in French] of "supervis[ing] and participat[ing] in the attack on [Tutsis]," even going as far as killing wounded survivors in a clinic. Because over two decades have passed some have expressed concern over the difficulty of reconstructing facts and evidence. If convicted they face life imprisonment [NYT report].

In January the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] formally closed [JURIST report] after issuing 45 judgments. In September a court in Toulouse, France, refused extradition requests [JURIST report] for Joseph Habyarimana, a Rwandan man, facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. In January of last year two Rwandan police officers were sentenced [JURIST report] to 20 years in jail for the murder of a Transparency International anti-corruption activist. In July 2014 the ICTR unanimously affirmed [JURIST report] a 30-year jail sentence for former army chief Augustin Bizimungu for the role he played in the genocide. In December 2012 the ICTR convicted [JURIST report] former Rwandan minister Augustin Ngirabatware, sentencing him to 35 years in prison on charges of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and rape as a crime against humanity.

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