- The UN backed Rwanda genocide Tribunal has sentenced the former army colonel, Theoneste Bagosora to life imprisonment for masterminding the killings of about 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the infamous 1994 genocide.
It is the first time the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania has convicted anyone of orchestrating the killings.
Mr Bogosora who has been in custody since 1996, when he was arrested in Cameroon, according to the prosecution, was the brains behind the mass killing of the minority tribe in Rwanda.
Prosecutors said Mr Bagosora, formerly a cabinet director in the defence ministry, assumed control of military and political affairs in Rwanda after Juvenal Habyarimana, then Rwanda's president, was killed when his plane was shot down.
The tribunal gave evidence that before the killings, Mr Bagosora stormed out of peace talks in Tanzania saying he was returning to Rwanda to prepare the disaster.
Meanwhile, earlier today, the tribunal also found late Mr Habyarimana's brother in law, Protais Zigiranyirazo, guilty of genocide and sentenced him to 20 year in prison for ordering the killing of more than 40 people.
Mr Zigiranyirazo was accused of being a member of the Akazu, the ruling elite of Hutu family members and relatives who are believed to have plotted to kill the minority Tutsis.
He is said to have been a member of the notorious Zero Network of death squads which killed hundreds of Tutsis and opposition leaders in the years leading up to the genocide.
Prosecutors said Mr Zigiranyirazo sanctioned roadblocks to be set up near his three residences and paid for a mass grave to be dug outside his compound to bury those killed.
Some of the Hutu militias alleged to have been involved in the genocide are reported to have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo bushes where Tutsi rebels led by renegade general Laurent Nkunda are refusing to lay down arms, saying they are being attacked by the Hutu fighters.
Since it began its operation in 1997, the court has delivered 34 judgments, including five acquittals. The court has until the end of 2009 to wind up its activities and until 2010 to hear all appeals.
The UN General Assembly is currently discussing whether to extend the court's mandate.
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