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ICTR sentences former Rwandan mayor to 11 years for crime against humanity

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] has sentenced [press release] former Rwandan mayor Juvenal Rugambarara [TrialWatch profile] to 11 years in prison. Rugambarara pleaded guilty [JURIST report] in July to a single count of extermination, a crime against humanity, as part of a plea deal that eliminated eight other charges including genocide, torture and rape. The extermination charge stems from his failure as mayor to adequately investigate abuses or punish perpetrators during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. The judges who sentenced Rugambarara Friday considered the sincerity of remorse Rugambarara displayed, his assistance to Tutsis during the genocide, and his good behavior while in ICTR custody when determining his sentence.

Rugambarara was mayor of Bicumbi commune from 1993 until 1994. His trial began in 2003 after he was arrested in Uganda. It took two years for the plea deal to be negotiated with prosecutors. Rugambarara is one of several local Rwandan leaders who have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty [JURIST news archive] by the tribunal for their roles in the mass killings. The Hirondelle News Agency has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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