The Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, Sweden, is set to announce its final verdict on the appeal of Theodore Rukeratabaro next Monday, according to sources from the Nordic country.
Rukeratabaro also known as Tabaro in Sweden was handed a life sentence after being convicted of genocide crimes in June, 2018.
The Rwandan-Swedish citizen was a gendarme, a post that can be equated to the current police officer in Rwanda, in the current Winteko Sector of Rusizi District in the former southwestern Rwanda’s Préfecture of Cyangugu.
In the first instance, the Stockholm District Court convicted Rukeratabaro for genocide as murder, attempted murder and abduction against Tutsi ethnic minority. He was, however, acquitted of rape charges. The court also ruled that among the 30 civil parties, 16 receive reparation.
He committed all the crimes in his native areas of Winteko, Nyakanyinya and Mibirizi of Rusizi District during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Rukertabaro ‘Tabaro’ Theodore was born in Rwanda in 1969. He was allegedly involved in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed over one million lives.
Between 9 April and May 1994, he allegedly contributed in the killings in Winteko, Nyakaninya and Mibirizi sectors in the south-west of the country. On 9 April 1994, he reportedly took part in a massacre of several civilians, including rape of women and girls. He is also charged with involvement in the 13 April 1994 attack against a Nyakanyinya school, and afterward an assault against Mibirizi cloister.
He arrived in Sweden in 1998 and became a Swedish citizen in 2006.
Rwanda Public Prosecution sent his indictment to Sweden on September 12, 2014. The convict had been living in Örebro, the seventh largest city in Sweden and one of the largest inland hubs of the country with 117,543 inhabitants.
Rukeratabaro was arrested in his home in Orebro on 25 October 2016 on suspicion of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The accused was subsequently remanded in custody by the Stockholm District Court and the War Crimes Commission of the Swedish police took over the investigation.
On 6 September 2017, he was charged with murder, attempted murder, rapes and kidnappings against the Tutsi. He is accused of having organised, recruited, incited and executed massacres against the Tutsi.
On 26 September 2017, the Swedish war crimes unit travelled to Rwanda to gather evidence and to examine witnesses and victims. Some 30 other survivors and family members of the victims are among the plaintiffs. His trial opened on 27 September 2017 before a special Court in Stockholm.
On 27 June 2018, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide as murder, attempted murder and abduction against the Tutsi, but was acquitted of rape charges.
Rukeratabaro became the third Rwandan-Swedish to be convicted by Swedish courts for the role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. On February 15, 2017, the Svea Court of Appeal upheld the life imprisonment against Claver Berinkindi over genocide crimes he committed in the former Prefecture of Butare.
In 2014, the same court also handed Stanisilas Mbanenande a life sentence for genocide crimes that he committed in the former Prefecture of Kibuye, a city in western Rwanda.