Rwanda Final hearings for genocide holds

61 defendants were convicted and 14 were acquitted, while others were referred for trial elsewhere.

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After years of inquisition into the heinous crimes carried out in the 1994 Rwanda genocide where over 800,000 people died, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has held its final hearings.

BBC reports that in over 20 years of operation, the UN-backed court has indicted 93 people for their roles in the violence.

61 defendants were convicted and 14 were acquitted, while others were referred for trial elsewhere. Also some died before or during their trials, others were fugitives or had their indictments withdrawn.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko who was former Rwanda women's minister and now based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha became the last defendant to appear before the court.

Nyiramasuhuko was appealing against her conviction for genocide and incitement to rape, in 2011 she became the first woman to be found guilty of such crimes by an international tribunal.

Begging the appeal judges to acquit her, Nyiramasuhuko said she was "not the type to commit these heinous crimes for which I was sentenced".

The court had earlier heard appeals from 5 other defendants, including one of Nyiramasuhuko's sons, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali who was a militia leader in Rwanda's southern Butare region at the time of the killings.

He was sentenced in 2011 to life in prison for genocide, extermination and rape as a crime against humanity.

The verdicts in their appeal and that of 4 other co-accused people, who were senior officials in Butare during the genocide but now serving long jail terms, are expected later in the year.

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