A court in Sweden has convicted a 61-year-old man on for his part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and sentenced him to life in prison.
The New York Times reports the case was part of an international effort to hold people accountable for crimes against humanity, no matter where those crimes occurred.
The Stockholm District Court found that the man, Claver Berinkindi, a Rwandan who obtained Swedish citizenship in 2012, had participated in five massacres between April 18 and May 31, 1994.
The court also awarded damages to victims of genocidal crimes. The court awarded 15 people damages ranging from $3,900 to $13,000, to be taken from Berinkindi’s property, which has been valued at roughly $148,000.
The victims were those who witnessed the loss of a relative and who were themselves under threat of being murdered.
The trial, which began in September, included testimony from roughly 50 witnesses and 15 victims. Berinkindi pleaded not guilty, saying that he had not been at the scene of the crimes.
However, Tora Holst, the chief prosecutor who leads a unit at the International Public Prosecution Office created in 2008 to focus on war crimes said Berinkindi had directly taken part in killings, using machetes, spears and clubs.
“It’s about the most serious crime known to mankind,” she told the New York Times.
The 1994 genocide killed more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly members of the ethnic Tutsi group but also moderate Hutu.