A 71-year-old former Rwandan official, Fabien Neretse, has been found guilty of genocide in a Brussels court.
He has since been handed a 25-year jail term according to court documents. The case is in connection with his role in the 1994 massacres in Rwanda.
Whiles delivering her verdict, Sophie Leclercq, President of the criminal court said: “All of these facts established points that the accused committed the crime of genocide in Rwanda between 6 April to 14 July 1994 in Kigali, Ruhengeri and Gitarama.”
He is the first person to be convicted in Belgium on such a charge. Neretse protested his innocence, but the evidence presented by prosecution was deemed plausible.
Jean-Pierre Jacques, lawyer of Fabien Neretsé said he will accept the ruling: “This is the will of a Belgian jury, and I will abide by it.”
He had told the press that he was going to push for a respectable sentence for his client who face life sentence. We would push for a sentence: “humane as possible considering the facts that have been established against my client.”
He was also convicted of committing nine “war crimes” in Rwanda under Belgium’s code of universal jurisdiction for the most serious offences.