Rwandan official guilty of genocide gets life

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 29, 2011 2:41 PM
Rwandan official guilty of genocide gets life

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced a former top civil servant to life imprisonment Tuesday for genocide and extermination, the court's affiliated news service said.

The court heard that Jean-Baptiste Gatete, director of the Ministry of Women and Family Affairs during the 1994 massacre of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, was responsible for the deaths of perhaps thousands in Rwanda's east.

"Considering all the relevant circumstances, the Chamber sentences Gatete to a single sentence of life imprisonment," the Arusha-based Hirondelle news service quoted presiding Pakistan Judge Khalida Rachid Khan as saying.

She said the large-scale killings were coordinated and required advance planning.

This was the first new judgment of the year to be handed down by the Tribunal. Eight other cases involving 20 accused, among them former ministers and generals of the Rwandan army, are in the pipeline.

(Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Heinrich)