The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, sentenced former administrator Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, 68, on Tuesday to 25 years in prison for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Ntawukulilyayo, the sub-prefect of Rwanda's southern district of Gisagara at that time, was convicted of organizing the killing of thousands of Tutsi refugees in the district.
According to testimony, he had promised protection to the refugees as he sent them to Kabuye Hill. At the same time, he sent soldiers there and ordered them to open fire on the Tutsis.
A majority of the judges found Ntawukulilyayo guilty on the most severe charge, but acquit him on other charges including complicity in genocide, and public incitement to commit genocide.
Lacking a unanimous decision by the judges, Ntawukulilyayo's lawyer Maroufa Diabira told AFP he saw “high chances of getting an acquittal on appeal.”
Last month, the United Nations has extended the term of the ICTR judges until the end of 2011, to give time to put on trial those responsible for the crimes during clashes between Hutus and Tutsis. In 1994, 800,000 mostly ethnic minority Tutsis were killed in a matter of months.
In 2005, Ntawukulilyayo was indicted by the ICTR and extradited from France in 2008. Former Hutu intelligence chief Idelphonse Nizeyimana, was captured in October 2009. He pleaded not guilty to multiple genocide charges and is awaiting trial.