Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 13:11 UK

Genocide court jails Rwandan man

Skulls of victims of the Ntarama massacre during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in 1994

A UN court has sentenced the former governor of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to life in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide.

The international court, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania, convicted Tharcisse Renzaho on five counts including genocide, rape and murder.

Prosecutors said Renhazo played a central role in the mass killings.

Some 800,000 people, most of them Tutsis, were killed by Hutu extremists during the genocide.

Renzaho was in control of the capital's police force and local officials at the time and was accused of inciting the violence.

Prosecutors said he ordered the setting up of road blocks where Tutsis were targeted and distributed arms used during the killings.

He was also convicted for the massacre of more than 100 Tutsis at a church in the centre of Kigali, AFP reported.

"Renzaho played an important part in connection with the commencement and cessation of the operation," said the UN court's judge, Erik Mose.

Appeal planned

Mr Mose said Renzaho also had a role in the removal of the bodies, adding that he "made remarks encouraging the sexual abuse of [Tutsi] women".

After the genocide Renhazo fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was arrested in 2002.

He has denied the charges against him and his lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict.

"He is innocent - he did his best to save people," Francois Cantier was quoted as telling reporters after the sentencing.

"He never wanted rapes to be committed."

Reporters in court said Renzaho took notes as the verdict was read out and express no emotion.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has made 39 judgements, six of them acquittals.

It was initially due to complete the prosecutions by the end of 2008.

But the Security Council recently gave the court until the end of 2010 to finish the trials.

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