Rwanda: Mugesera Sent to Prison for Life

Rwanda: Mugesera Sent to Prison for Life

Jurors took just over seven hours to return the guilty verdicts on the 64-year-old man. Stock Picture

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Today notorious genocide suspect, Leon Mugesera, has been given a life sentence by the High court.

Reading out the verdict for the case which lasted for four hours, the Presiding Judge, Antoine Muhima, said that based on the crimes committed by Mugesera in 1992, the court found him guilty of genocide crimes thus sending him to prison for life.

“Due to the fact that Leon Mugesera used the authority he had as a leader to incite hatred among the population which led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and failure to show any remorse of the crimes he committed ever since he was arrested, court finds him guilty of genocide crimes and has sentenced him to life imprisonment” Judge Muhima said.

Mugesera was accused of five crimes, namely, inciting the masses to take part in genocide, planning and preparing the genocide, conspiracy in the crime of genocide, Harassing the Tutsis as a crime against mankind, and inciting hatred among people, and he was found guilty on all counts.

After the verdict, the suspect appealed against the ruling.

Who is Leon Mugesera?

Mugesera was the vice chairman for genocidal political party, MRND, in then Gisenyi prefecture. He also taught Linguistics at the National University of Rwanda, Nyakinama Campus in the Northern Province.

He is accused of committing crimes mainly through his infamous speech he gave in western Rwanda in November 1992 where he incited the killing of Tutsis across the country.

Mugesera fled the country with his family to Quebec City in Canada. While there, Mugesera managed to fight his extradition for nearly 20 years. He was however extradited in 2012.