Sweden gives Rwandan-born man life over 1994 genocide

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A 49-year-old Rwandan-born man was Wednesday sentenced to life by a Swedish court for his role over the 1994 genocide in the African country.

The Stockholm District Court says Theodore Tabaro is guilty of the assassination, attempted murder and abduction of members of the Tutsi ethnic group "with the intention to destroy the whole or part of the Tutsi group."

It said that Tabaro — a Swedish national who had denied the charges against him — had "a leading role at the local level" and was "so central and active that he is considered the perpetrator." He also urged others to commit crimes.

The court said Tabaro participated in several attacks in southwestern Rwanda, and took part in an attack against a school, a chapel and a monastery where "several hundred people were killed."

In its verdict, the court refuted Tabaro's claims that the investigation against him was politically motivated.

The life sentence is the heaviest penalty in Sweden and is normally about 18 years.

Some 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were killed by Hutu extremists during the Rwandan genocide, according to the United Nations.

It was the third time Sweden has prosecuted someone over the Rwanda genocide.

In May 2016, Claver Berinkindi, a Swedish citizen originally from Rwanda, was given a lifetime prison sentence, and three years earlier, Stanislas Mbanenande also was sentenced to life.

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