Belgium secures first Rwandan genocide conviction
Publish date: 13 January 2020
Issue Number: 855
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A Belgian court has sentenced a former Rwandan official convicted of genocide for his part in his country's 1994 massacres to 25 years in prison. A report on the France24 site notes that Fabien Neretse, an agricultural engineer, was arrested in France in 2011 and was found guilty of genocide and war crimes late last month after a trial in the Brussels High Court. Judge Sophie Leclercq said the 71-year-old had committed ‘an irreparable attack against the whole of humanity’ and had no remorse for his crimes. Twenty-five years after the horror in Rwanda that left 800 000 dead, Neretse became the first person to be convicted in former colonial power Belgium on a genocide charge. Leclercq said his crimes constituted ‘atrocities that defy the imagination’ which threatened ‘the peace and well-being of the world’.