Supreme Court rejects appeal from Rwandan genocide commander Desire Munyaneza
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The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear the appeal of a man who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Desire Munyaneza led a Hutu militia during the genocide that saw more than 800,000 Tutsis slaughtered.
He then fled the country, arriving in Canada in 1997, where RCMP got wind of his involvement in the genocide and launched an investigation.
He was living in Toronto when he was arrested in October 2005 and charged with seven counts under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
Witnesses for the prosecution testified that as a militia commander, Munyaneza organized a large number of rapes and murders in the Butare region.
He was sentenced in October 2009 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Munyaneza has argued the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act doesn’t apply to his case because it came into effect in 2000 and is being applied retroactively.
In 1994, Canada only recognized war crimes in the context of international armed conflicts.
However, the top court rejected his appeal Thursday, which means Munyaneza has no choice but to serve out his sentence.