Onesphore Rwabukombe and his lawyer Natalie von Wistinghausen in the court room in Frankfurt

Rwandese Asylum Seeker Sentenced For Involvement in the Genocide

Onesphore Rwabukombe and his lawyer Natalie von Wistinghausen in the court room in Frankfurt
Onesphore Rwabukombe and his lawyer Natalie von Wistinghausen in the court room in Frankfurt

This will be a lesson to those who use fake stories to seek asylum.

Onesphore Rwabukombe, a former mayor in Rwanda moved to Germany to seek asylum. The 56 year old, sought asylum to prevent him from going back to Rwanda only for the Germans to start a case against him and eventually sentence him to 14 years imprisonment.

The court in Frankfurt, Hessen found him guilty in aiding the genocide. It’s been proved that on 11th April when the people of Kiziguro had gone to seek shelter in the church, the mayor at the time Mr. Rwabukombe had ordered for them to be killed instead. The court process that has continued for three years so over 100 witnesses called in and German investigators being sent to Rwanda to collect evidence. This is the first court hearing for a case involving the Rwandese Genocide that saw close to a million people, mainly the Tutsis killed in a span of less than six months between April and July 1994.

Prosecutors had asked for a term of life in jail over the killings, while the defence had demanded an acquittal in the trial at the higher regional court in Frankfurt, Hesse. It is believed that teh prosecutors will seek an appeal to this decision as they insist the former mayor should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The Frankfurt court heard the case because Germany did not want to extradite the defendant to Rwanda, fearing he would not receive a fair trial, and as international courts in The Hague and Tanzania did not ask to handle the case.

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