Rwanda: Belgian Court Upholds Sentence for Genocide Convict Neretse

A Belgium court has upheld the 25-year sentence handed to Genocide convict Fabien Neretse.

The appeal case for the 25-year sentence handed to Genocide convict Fabien Neretse last December resumed on Wednesday, May 27, in a Belgian court (Cour de Cassation).

According to Andre Martin Karongozi, a lawyer for the victims, defence lawyer Jean Flamme was given time to present his case and the latter, among others, stated that the court that previously convicted his client did not clearly show proof of how Neretse committed Genocide "because as a single individual he could not prepare Genocide."

"When allowed to speak, I told the court that the lawyer, Flamme, wants to take the court back to the starting point of a case that was concluded," Karongozi said. "I informed the court that what the Cour de Cassation is preoccupied with is examining whether laws were followed correctly."

During the initial appeal hearing in April, the Attorney General affirmed that Neretse's appeal had no legal basis.

At the time, however, defence lawyer Jean Flamme requested for 15 days to respond to the Attorney General's conclusion. Court then ruled that the appeal hearing will resume May 27.

Last December, Neretse, 71, who was an influential member of the then ruling MRND party, was found guilty of Genocide, murder, war crimes and crimes against humanity, by the Brussels Assize Court.

The MRND was the ruling party prior to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He was prosecuted for the crime of Genocide and war crimes committed in Nyamirambo, Kigali, where he resided and Mataba, his native region, as well as elsewhere in Rwanda between April 6 and July 14, 1994.

According to CNLG, Neretse called the genocidal army who executed 13 people in Kigali alone.

In his native region of Mataba, Neretse created, armed and paid the Interahamwe militia.

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