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Rwanda's Former Finance Minister Gets Life Sentence - 2004-07-15

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has found the country's former finance minister guilty of war crimes for his role in the 1994 genocide, and sent him to prison for life.

Former Finance Minister Emmanuel Ndindabahizi on Thursday was found guilty of five counts of genocide-related charges.

Presiding Judge Eric Mose rejected claims by the defense that the indictment was vague, and sentenced the ex-finance minister to life in prison.

Tribunal spokesman Roland Amoussouga explains.

"The tri-chamber found Ndindabahizi guilty of participating in, encouraging and assisting in the commission of criminal acts that occurred from April through June 1994 in Kibuye prefecture," he said.

Mr. Amoussouga said the former finance minister was also found guilty of instigating and assisting in attacks against unarmed Tutsi refugees.

The spokesman said the tribunal, so far, has conducted 23 trials of suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed up to 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The trials resulted in 20 convictions and three acquittals. Nineteen additional trials are under way.