Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Rwanda opposition politician jailed for genocide

Victoire Ingabire (Photo from UDF website:
Joseph Ntawangundi was an aide to Victoire Ingabire

A Rwandan court has sentenced an opposition politician to 17 years in jail for his part in the 1994 genocide.

Joseph Ntawangundi initially denied participating in the genocide but later pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ntawangundi was convicted for his involvement in the deaths of eight people who were killed at a school he ran in eastern Rwanda.

Ntawangundi is an aide to opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, who has complained of harassment.

Both Ms Ingabire and Ntawangundi have recently returned to Rwandan after spending years in exile.

In February, United Democratic Forces (UDF) leader Ms Ingabire told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme she had been taken to a police station in Kigali, where she was accused of spreading genocide ideology.

The US-based Human Rights Watch says Rwanda's government is attacking and intimidating its critics in the run-up to August's presidential election.

But President Paul Kagame has said in the past he respects people's rights but will not tolerate anyone undermining peace and stability.

Before his guilty plea Mr Ntawangundi had protested his innocence, claiming he was in Europe during the genocide.

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