Rwanda’s former official was convicted this week and sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Belgian court, Xinhua reported. The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) hailed on Friday this “landmark” made by the Brussels High Court for genocide and war crimes.
Rwandan lawyers welcome the verdict by the Belgian court made on Friday. According to that decision of judges, Fabien Neretse, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The former official was prosecuted for genocide and war crimes in 1994. The three-month Rwandan genocide against Tutsi minority resulted in death of over 1 million people, the UN investigators proved.
The 71-year-old Neretse denied all charges during the trial. However, his case is a landmark for the tribunal, he is the first person to be convicted in Belgium on a genocide charge, said the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide in Friday statement.
Magistrates of Belgium had been compiling evidence of the case over the years since Neretse was arrested in France in 2011.
The UN concern over glorification of convicted war criminals in Rwanda
Meanwhile, prosecutor Serge Brammertz said much more remains to be done to achieve more justice for more victims. The glorification of convicted war criminals and denial of war crimes continue to pose significant challenges to accountability and reconciliation.
While prosecutor’s office is doing its best to get hold of eight fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the local authorities are searching on their own for at least 500 additional fugitives suspected to have participated in the 1994 genocide, said Brammertz.