2 Nuns Get Jail in Rwanda Genocide

Associated Press

A Belgian jury sentenced four Rwandans, including two Roman Catholic nuns, to prison terms ranging from 12 to 20 years Friday after convicting them of war crimes in the African nation's 1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed.

Benedictine nun Sister Gertrude, 42, received a 15-year sentence for her role in the massacre of about 7,000 people seeking refuge at her convent in southern Rwanda. Sister Maria, 36, received 12 years.

Businessman Alphonse Higaniro, 52, received a 20-year sentence, and university professor Vincent Ntezimana, 39, received 12 years.

The trial was the first in which a civilian jury in one country judged suspected war criminals from another nation. A 1993 law in Belgium--the former colonial power in Rwanda--gave local courts jurisdiction over violations of the Geneva Convention on war crimes, no matter where they occurred.

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