Appeals court upholds Rwandan war-crimes conviction

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Brian Daly, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

MONTREAL — A former Rwandan militiaman who hacked people to death with machetes and raped women during the 1994 genocide will continue serving a life sentence, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.

Desire Munyaneza had asked the court to overturn the verdict in the 2009 war-crimes trial that was held in Montreal, Rwanda and Europe.

Munyaneza, 47, was the first person to be convicted under Canada's war crimes legislation that took effect in 2000.

Superior Court judge Andre Denis found Munyaneza guilty in May 2009 of seven charges related to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in massacres and rapes near Butare, Rwanda, between April and July of 1994.

The incidents date back to the country's bloody genocide during which about 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered.

Munyaneza claims three of the counts were not war crimes and that Crown witnesses were not reliable.


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