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Sweden court upholds life sentence in Rwanda genocide case

[JURIST] A Swedish court of appeals on Wednesday upheld the life sentence [judgment, PDF, in Swedish; press release, in Swedish] of a man convicted of genocide during the 1994 Rwanda genocide [BBC profile]. The Svea Court of Appeal [official website] in Stockholm found that Claver Berinkindi was guilty of murder, attempted murder and the kidnapping of thousands of people. The court also found that Berinkindi should pay damages to the victims of his crimes. Berikindi was charged in Sweden [country profile] in September 2015 and sentenced last May [NYT report]. Berinkindi sought political asylum in Sweden in 2002 and became a citizen 10 years later. He initially was to be prosecuted in Rwanda, but could not be extradited [AP report] due to his Swedish citizenship. Under Swedish law, courts have standing to over Swedish citizens for crimes committed abroad.

Claver Berinkindi was found guilty [JURIST report] of genocide and gross crime under international law consisting of murder, kidnapping and attempted murder. Berinkindi was charged in Sweden [Reuters report] after a Rwandan Gacaca community court convicted him of genocide-related crimes in absentia. He was found to have participated in five different massacres by both rallying people to participate in the various killing and killing countless people himself. The court awarded 15 people damages who had witness the loss of a relative at the hands of Berinkindi ranging from USD $3,900 to $13,000.

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