Rwanda welcomes conviction of former official for genocide by Belgian court

Attendees offers flowers after the burial of 81 coffins containing newly discoverd remains of 84,437 victims of the 1994 genocide during a funeral ceremony at the Nyanza Genocide Memorial, suburb of the capital Kigali, on May 4, 2019. - The remains of nearly 85,000 people murdered in Rwanda's genocide were laid to rest on May 4 in a sombre ceremony in Kigali, a quarter of a century after the slaughter. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Attendees offers flowers after the burial of 81 coffins containing newly discovered remains of 84,437 victims of the 1994 genocide during a funeral ceremony at the Nyanza Genocide Memorial, suburb of the capital Kigali. (Photo credit YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) on Friday described as a “landmark” the conviction of a former Rwandan official by the Brussels High Court on Thursday for genocide and war crimes.

Fabien Neretse, 71, was sentenced on Friday to 25 years in prison by the Belgian court following Thursday’s conviction.

He was prosecuted for genocide and war crimes committed during the three-month Rwandan genocide against Tutsi minority in 1994, which claimed the lives of over 1 million people.

Neretse, who denied all charges during the trial, is the first person to be convicted in Belgium on a genocide charge, said the CNLG in a statement.

Magistrates of Belgium had been compiling evidence of the case over the years since Neretse was arrested in France in 2011.