Pasteur Bizimungu was freed after serving two years of a 15-year term as anact of clemency by President Paul Kagame to build national unity, an officialsaid. His release came on the 13th anniversary of the start of the 1994genocide in which 500,000 were killed.
"It's a good gesture, it's done in good faith, it's done for the good,"Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama told The Associated Press by telephonefrom the Rwandan capital,
Karugarama said Bizimungu's release was the first full presidential pardonKagame has given. He said he did not know Kagame's reasons for the pardon.
He added that he believed Bizimungu returned to his home in
His lawyer, Jeanbosco Kazenge, said his client had gone home to be with hisfamily. "He's fine, he's happy," he said from
Bizimungu was convicted in 2004 for treason, threatening national security,corruption and encouraging ethnic divisions in the country.
A member of
He resigned in March 2000 after disagreements with Kagame over theprosecution of ministers accused of corruption and mismanagement. He wasarrested in 2002, and in 2004 was sentenced by
In 2006, the nation's Supreme Court overturned a lower court's acquittal ona treason charge and sentenced Bizimungu to another five years in prison forembezzling $60,000 intended for victims of the genocide.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16