[QODLink]
Europe
Dutch court sentences Rwandan for war crimes
Hutu man residing in the Netherlands receives life sentence for his role in 1994 genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2011 17:07
Mourners stand behind the caskets of victims of the 1994 genocide at Kigali Memorial Centre, in 2009 [EPA]

A Dutch court has sentenced a Hutu man to life imprisonment on war crimes committed during Rwanda's 1994 genocide.

"The appeals court... sentences the suspect to life in prison," Raoul Dekkers, head of the appeals court, said on Thursday during a public session in The Hague.

"You showed no compassion for the Tutsis ... stuck to your opinion that the victims deserved their fate," the judge said, while testimony was being heard during the appeal.

Joseph Mpambara, a 43-year-old Rwandan citizen living in the Netherlands, was found guilty of torture causing the deaths of two Tutsi mothers and their four children on April 13, 1994, upholding a previous lower court conviction.

The court convicted him of having carried out an attack on a Protestant church where Tutsis had fled and for the kidnapping of three children from the same family.

Mpambara was also found guilty of detaining a German-Rwandan couple and their baby on April 27, 1994, for several hours.

'Convincing judgement'

The Rwandan citizen had been convicted in March 2009 of torture and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, but was acquitted by the lower court on allegations of war crimes.

Prosecutors then appealed that ruling in a trial that took place under a law allowing the prosecution of suspected war criminals living in the Netherlands.

"It was a very convincing judgment," Liesbeth Zegveld, one of the complainant's lawyers, told the AFP news agency afterwards.

"The crimes are very serious. It cannot be compared to anything we know in The Netherlands. A strong signal is being sent today across our borders," she said.

Mpambara was tried in The Netherlands as part of an agreement between several European countries and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), under which they try genocide suspects in their national courts.

The son of a wealthy family, Mpambara has resided in The Netherlands since 1998, although his request for asylum was refused.

The Dutch authorities originally detained him in 2006.

He was the first Rwandan to be condemned in The Netherlands for crimes during the genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died, according to UN estimates.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list