27 November 2012

Rwanda: Norwegian Prosecution Seeks Maximum Sentence for Genocide Suspect Bugingo

THE Norwegian prosecution has asked the court to hand Sadi Bugingo, a sentence of 21 years in prison for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Bugingo, a Rwandan is currently standing trial in the Norwegian capital, Oslo where he is accused of being responsible for the death of 2000 Tutsis in the former Kibungo province.

"There were no extenuating circumstances in the case of Sadi Bugingo," prosecutor Marit Formo said in her closing statement.

The 47-year-old was charged with supervising killings of 2,000 people and coordinating attacks by Interahamwe militia that targeted Tutsis.

The defendant is alleged to have taken part in meetings, ordered others to commit the killings and supervised killings, the prosecutors said in statements broadcast online.

Bugingo has denied the charges. The defence is expected to make its closing statement later this week at Oslo District Court.

The defendant was also charged with transporting refugees and armed killers to locations in Kibungo, eastern Rwanda, where killings took place, including at a local government building in the community of Birenga.

Testimonies from about 100 witnesses were key in the trial that opened in September. Some of those testimonies were heard via video link from Kigali.

According to a report from Oslo, Prosecutor Petter Mandt told the court that while their accounts might differ on some details, they put the defendant at the scene.

Bugingo has lived in Bergen, western Norway, since 2001. He was arrested last year and has been investigated by Norwegian authorities since 2008 after being contacted by Rwanda.

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