A Rwandan sentenced in Oslo for participation in the 1994 genocide on Tuesday pleaded not guilty as his appeals hearings opened.

Sadi Bugingo, now 49, has been living in Norway since 2002. He was sentenced on February 14, 2013 to 21 years in jail, the maximum sentence in Norway.

The Oslo court deemed that he had played a leading role in the massacres of some 2,000 people in April 1994 in eastern Rwanda. It was the first genocide trial to be held in Norway.

The first-instance judges found that although Bugingo, who was then a businessman, did not take part directly, he supervised massacres in an administrative building, a hospital and a church in Kibungo prefecture. 

He was accused of having attended meetings during which massacres were planned or ordered, helping to organize them and to transport the killers.

The trial, during which the judges went to Rwanda to hear prosecution and defence witnesses, opened on September 25, 2012.

Rwanda judiciary had requested Bugingo’s extradition but it was not granted because he had obtained Norwegian nationality. by ER/JC slightly edited here by Al.G

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