NH Woman Faces Trial for Aiding Rwanda Genocide

Beatrice Munyenyezi lied her way into US, prosecutors say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2012 12:02 AM CST
NH Woman Faces Trial for Aiding Rwanda Genocide
Beatrice Munyenyezi's home in Manchester, New Hampshire.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – A jury in New Hampshire will soon be hearing weeks of graphic testimony about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Beatrice Munyenyezi, who came to the US in 1995, is accused of lying about her role in the slaughter on her refugee and citizenship applications. Prosecutors say the 42-year-old woman was part of a Hutu extremist group, and that she personally ordered the rapes and murders of Tutsi during the genocide that killed nearly 800,000 people, AP reports.

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Her husband, a commander in the former Rwandan army, is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity. Her lawyers insist that she did not take an active role in the genocide. Both sides are expected to bring witnesses from Rwanda to New Hampshire, and authorities have hired three interpreters. The trial—which is taking place in the same courthouse where Munyenyezi became a US citizen in 2003—is likely to last up to six weeks. If found guilty, Munyenyezi will face deportation and a possible life sentence in a Rwandan prison. (Read more Rwanda stories.)

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