After standing trial accused of murdering over 2000 people during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Sadi Bugingo was sentenced to 21 years in jail by Oslo court early this afternoon.
This is the first ever genocide conviction made by an Norwegian court. The 47 year old man appealed on the spot, as he claims to be innocent on all charges.
” The appeal should not come as a big surprise to anyone”, says Bugingo´s lawyer Harald Stabler to Norwegian broadcasting.
Prosecutor, Petter Mandt is happy with the verdict and is already preparing for a new round, this time in the supreme court.
Lived in Norway for 12 years
The special nature of this case may open up for other countries who are trying to prosecute people accused of similar crimes.
Sadi Bugingo as lived in Norway with his family over the last twelve years, which is why his case is on trial there. He is also not an Norwegian citizen, and has been living under the government radar for years before he got arrested in May of 2011.
During the trial the court has not believed any of the arguments the man has made for his innocent. He said to the judge that he was not even near two of the three areas where the slaughter happened, and that he was only nearby the third town in question.
Horrible crimes agains woman and children
The Rewandan genocide took place in East Africa, and is one of the worst mass slaughter in the human history. The genocide was the culmination of the ethnic tension between the minority Tutsi, and the majority Hutu.
According to Human Rights Watch between 500 000- 1 000 000 Tutsi´s were killed during 100 bloody days between April- July of 1994.
When the judge read the verdict he said that testimonies made by more than two dozen witnesses, claims that the 47 year old was one of several local leader in the local town of Kibungo who supported, encourage and ordered several thousand murders.
The court also heavily weighs the nature of the murders which is described as horrifying and cruel, especially against women and children.
The appeal is said to start within the next 6-12 months.