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BBC's Chris Simpson in Kigali
"Survivors identified Alfred Musema as one of the principle organisers of the genocide"
 real 28k

Thursday, 27 January, 2000, 14:50 GMT
Rwandan factory boss guilty of genocide

Genocide victims More than 800,000 are estimated to have died during the genocide


The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has sentenced former tea factory boss Alfred Musema to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The United Nations court, established in Arusha in northern Tanzania, found Musema guilty on three of the nine charges brought against him.

He was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, including rape, but was acquitted on war crime charges.


1994 genocide
April
Rwandan President Hayarimana killed in aircraft explosion
April-July
An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed by army and Hutu militia
July
Tutsi-led rebel movement (RPF) captures capital, Kigali
July
Hutu militia and more than 1m Hutus flee to Zaire

Musema was accused of organising and taking part in the murder of a group of Tutsis who had taken refuge at his tea factory in Gisovu, in western Rwanda, during the genocide.

Many of the victims were his own factory employees.

It is only the seventh judgment handed down by the ICTR since it was established, and is the first against someone who was not a government or army official.

Musema was arrested in Switzerland in February 1995 and the trial, which was the first to be conducted under new rules designed to speed up court procedures, was held over the first seven months of last year.

Government 'pleased'

Presiding judge Lennart Aspegren said Musema had personally led attackers to attack large numbers of Tutsi refugees and raped a young Tutsi woman.

"He knowingly and consciously participated in the commission of crimes, and never showed remorse for his personal role in the commission of the atrocities," the judge said.

Musema pleased not guilty to all the charges against him.

His lawyer said he would appeal against the conviction.

Rwandan Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Mucyo said he was "pleased" by the verdict, and welcomed the fact that Musema had received the maximum sentence which the tribunal can impose.

Relations between the Rwandan Government and the tribunal have been uneasy in recent months, after a procedural error by UN prosecutors led to the release of a genocide suspect.

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See also:
22 Jan 00 |  Africa
Rwanda updates genocide list
10 Jan 00 |  Africa
Rwandans to sue UN
18 Mar 99 |  Africa
Eyewitness: Rwanda's survivors
08 Dec 99 |  Africa
Prosecutor to pursue genocide suspect
06 Dec 99 |  Africa
Life sentence for Rwanda genocide leader

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