Ville Hoikkala, Bazaramba's lawyer, said: "Of course he [Bazaramba] was sad, he was disappointed. We are going to appeal, we consider this incorrect.

"My client is not convicted of actually killing anyone, he is convicted of encouraging others to kill."

First genocide trial

Bazaramba was detained in April 2007 after the National Bureau of Investigation looked into his background.

The trial, which begun last September in Porvoo, about 50km east of Helsinki, the capital, was Finland's first genocide trial.

The justice ministry estimates the trial, which has heard dozens of witnesses in Finland, Rwanda and Tanzania, has cost around $1.2m.

Rwanda asked Finland to extradite Bazaramba to Rwanda, but the Nordic country turned down the request, saying he might not get a fair trial there.

The Finnish court heard the case under a "universal jurisdiction" principle, meaning a court in Finland can try people suspected of serious crimes such as war crimes or crimes against humanity regardless of where they took place.