Rwandan Genocide Trial Begins in Finland

Francois Bazaramba is accused of planning and carrying out the murder of Tutsis, many of whom were women and children...


Francois Bazaramba, a former pastor, has been charged genocidal murder stemming from the execution of over 5,000 Tutsi men, women and children in 1994. Bazaramba himself is accused of planning many of these murders and has been charged with committing fifteen personally. Facing life in prison, the 58-year old has denied any and all wrongdoing. From Al Jazeera:

The Nordic countries have been promoting the development of an international criminal order, that there should be an end to impunity.

"This is significant. It's important that Finland has taken this responsibility."

The trial, in the Porvoo District court, will be moved to Kigali, the Rwandan capital, after two weeks in order to hear from witnesses.

The case, which is expected to last until the end of the year, comes as work carried out by the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) draws to a close.

The court, set up in 1997 to try the masterminds of the massacres, had until last year to complete all trials, and has until 2010 to hear all appeals.

Around 800,000 people died in a just a few months in Rwanda in 1994 when the majority Hutus began the slaughter of rival Tutsis and anyone who supported or helped them.