Canadian court gives Rwandan life term for war crimes

Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:31pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian court Thursday sentenced a Rwandan man to life in prison after he was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.

Desire Munyaneza was convicted in a Quebec court in May, becoming the first person to be found guilty under Canada's war crimes act. He will serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole, the CBC said.

In 1994, extremists from Rwanda's Hutu majority hacked and shot to death 800,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. During the two-year trial, the court heard from dozens of witnesses, some of whom identified Munyaneza as the man responsible for dozens of killings and rapes.

Munyaneza's lawyer has already said he will appeal the conviction.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Frank McGurty)