Photo:Tor Erik H. Mathiesen
Oslo (AFP) – An Oslo appeal court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a Rwandan man sentenced to prison in Norway for his role in the massacre of 2,000 people during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
Sadi Bugingo, 49, moved to Norway in 2002 and became the first person convicted for the crime of genocide in Norway for his involvement in several massacres in eastern Rwanda.
He is currently serving Norway’s maximum possible sentence of 21 years. The appeal court will rule in January on whether there will be a change to his sentence.
Bugingo, from Rwanda’s Hutu ethnic group, was accused of having supervised the massacre of a group of Tutsis in a municipal building and within the grounds of a Catholic church.
He denied the charges but was found guilty of being an accessory to genocide for ensuring that orders for the killings were carried out. End
“The murders were meticulously planned and the accused undoubtedly acted with premeditation,” an Oslo district court said in last year’s ruling.
The court said the hefty sentence was due to aggravating circumstances, since the attacks were part of a genocide and were carried out in a “beastly fashion” with machetes, bats and clubs and dead bodies were in some cases desecrated.
The April 6, 1994 killing of Rwanda’s Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana triggered a genocide in which 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority, were killed, according to UN figures.