Rwandan genocide: appeal to be heard in Zambia

The Helsinki Court of Appeal is to travel to Rwanda and Zambia to hear witnesses in the appeal of a man convicted of involvement in the Rwanda genocide.
Francois BazarambaFrancois Bazaramba, a Rwandan-born Finnish citizen, was sentenced last summer to life in prison for mass murder.
The court plans to be in session in Rwanda for 18 days in September and October to hear testimony from 39 prosecution witnesses. The court also hopes to visit places where killings took place.
The court will also go to Zambia in October to hear testimony from 15 defence witnesses. Most of the witnesses live in Zambia and other countries in the region.
The arrangement still requires the approval of the Rwandan and Zambian governments.
The defendant will follow the events via video link from Finland, as was done in the first trial.
The case is being handled in Finland because the Ministry of Justice refused to extradite Bazaramba to Rwanda for fear that he might not get a fair trial there.

The lower court found that Bazaramba, a resident of Porvoo, had led attacks against Tutsis in the south of Rwanda in 1994 and gave orders that led to their deaths.

Bazaramba sought asylum in Finland, in 2003.

He was convicted on two charges; intent to destroy the Tutsi population in Maraba, and spreading malicious propaganda calling for their extermination, crimes for which he was handed a life sentence.

He is said to have masterminded the killing of over 5,000 people in Nyakizu, Southern Province.

Bazaramba allegedly organised and maintained night patrols and road blocks, forcing the Tutsi to leave their homes. He organised the setting on fire and destruction of their homes and property.

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