During the trial, Twagirayezu maintained his innocence, claiming to have been in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the time of the genocide. However, the court, while acquitting him, took into consideration contradictory statements by witnesses accusing him of involvement in the genocide in the former Gisenyi Prefecture.
Following Thursday’s verdict, the NPPA officially expressed its dissatisfaction with the judgment and signaled its intention to appeal. Twagirayezu, aged 56, faced serious charges of participating in mass killings and the extermination of Tutsis in the former Commune Rwerere, now part of the Rubavu District in the Western Province.
Extradited from Denmark in December 2018, where he had been a naturalized citizen since 2004, Twagirayezu faced a potential life sentence, as requested by the prosecution.
Twagirayezu was accused of orchestrating attacks at the Catholic Parish of Busasamana, where over 1,000 out of more than 3,000 Tutsis who sought refuge there lost their lives.
Before the Genocide against the Tutsi, Twagirayezu, who headed the Dutabarane Foundation in Denmark, worked as a teacher at Majyambere Primary School in Busasamana.