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Five sentenced to death over killing of genocide survivor

A Rwandan court sentenced five people to death on Friday over the killing of a genocide survivor who was due to testify in the Gacaca justice system, Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported.

The five were found guilty of killing Charles Rutinduka on 26 November 2003 in Kaduha, in the southern province of Gikongoro.

RNA reported that the five included Celestin Akimana, who initiated and pledged to pay US $380 for Rutinduka's murder.

Akimana had been a coordinator in Jenda sector in Gikongoro, where the killing took place, and had a genocide dossier over which he feared Rutinduka would testify against him during Gacaca proceedings.

The Gacaca system is based on a traditional communal justice where offenders are judged by elders at the village level.

RNA reported that during the trial, the court acquitted two other suspects after the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence.

Several genocide survivors were killed in Gikongoro in 2003, prompting protest from associations of genocide survivors and human rights NGOs and activists. [See "Genocide survivor group denounces killings, harassment"]

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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