STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish court on Thursday sentenced a man of Rwandan origin to life imprisonment for his role in the 1994 genocide in the African county, the first such case in the Nordic state.
Stanislas Mbanenande, 54, an ethnic Hutu from Rwanda who is now a Swedish citizen, was convicted of taking part in several massacres in Kibuye in western Rwanda, the court said in a statement. He had denied the charges.
He was also convicted of playing a leading role at a lower level and participating in murder and kidnapping.
"It has been proved that the purpose of the acts of which the defendant has now been convicted was to wholly or partly destroy the Tutsi ethnic group. The acts have therefore been assessed a genocide," the court ruling said, setting a sentence of life imprisonment.
In a span of 100 days in 1994, Hutu soldiers and militiamen killed around 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis. Rwanda is now under a Tutsi-dominated government.
Some of the hearings in the Swedsh trial were held in Kigali, Rwanda's capital.
Norway convicted a Rwandan for masterminding the murder of 2,000 people in the genocide and sent him to jail for 21 years in February.
Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Angus MacSwan