Rwanda ex-justice minister sentenced to life in prison on genocide charges

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On January 20, 2009, the Court of First Instance of Nyarugenge sentenced former Rwandan justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro to life in prison. They found that Ntamabyariro, and co-defendant Jean-Leonard Hategekimana, participated in planning, weapon distribution, and arranging the assassination of opposition Tutsi governor Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Ntamabyariro's conviction represented a rare verdict from a Rwandan court are on genocide charges — most trials in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide have been conducted by the the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Citing fairness concerns, the ICTR has refused to transfer most cases to Rwandan courts. However, the ICTR upheld the decision to transfer the genocide trial of pastor Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi to Rwandan courts in December 2011.


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