German court overturns Rwandan’s war crimes conviction

Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni

A German federal court has overturned the conviction of a Rwandan sentenced to 13 years in prison as an accessory to war crimes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2015, a Stuttgart court convicted Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni over their roles as the former president and vice president, respectively, of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, a mostly ethnic Hutu militia.

Both were convicted of leading a terrorist organization. Murwanashyaka was convicted on four counts of being an accessory to war crimes.

The Federal Court of Justice on Thursday rejected an appeal by Musoni, who was given an eight-year sentence, but overturned Murwanashyaka’s conviction and sent his case back for a retrial.

It cited doubts about the war crimes conviction, specifically whether he encouraged or facilitated attacks on village