Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

Rwanda: French Court Finds Simbikangwa Is Guilty, Sentenced to 25 Years

A French court has found former Intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa guilty of genocide crimes and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

The trial of Simbikangwa - for his role in the Genocide against the Tutsi - began on February 4, in France.

Simbikangwa, 54, was arrested in 2008 when he was living under an alias of "Safari" on France's Indian Ocean island of Mayotte.

The trial is the first of its kind in France, 20 years after the 100-day killing spree in which several French political and military leaders are also accused of playing a part.

Simbikangwa was found guilty of supplying arms to the Interhamwe militia and ordered the massacre of Tutsis in the former Gisenyi prefecture, current Rubavu District.

Reports say that six of the nine jurors agreed with the prosecution that the former Intelligence chief was guilty of genocide crimes despite his plea that he was innocent.

The verdict took longer than expected which caused a lot of anxiety.

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