The verdict was pronounced on Friday, December 20th, 2019.
The prosecution had requested a harsher sentence of 30 years but the court decided 25 years after examining all counts of crimes Neretse was indicted for.
On Thursday, December 2019, the Brussels Court of Assize held a hearing for Neretse where he was found guilty of genocide and war crimes.
Fabien Neretse is among the prominent planners of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. In November 2019, he was accused of 13 war and genocide crimes including having helped to carry out a massacre in Kigali and Mataba located in former Ruhengeri, in North-Western Rwanda and of having created, maintained and financed an
Interahamwe militia, responsible for many massacres of Tutsi and Hutu opponents.
He was also sentenced for allegations that at ACEDI-Mataba, a school that Neretse founded, he created, financed and helped train an Interahamwe militia which carried out numerous massacres of Tutsi and Hutu opposition members in Mataba, Ruhengeri.
Before Neretse, a number of genocide criminals were tried at the Brussels Court of Assize where they were sentenced according to international penalties against war and crimes against humanity.
Neretse’s trial was characterized by loud ethnic slurs and genocide denying statements from Me Jean Flamme, his lawyer.
He was claiming that in Rwanda, there were two genocides and that Hutu were also massacred. The trial caught the attention of other renowned genocide deniers including Judi Rever, Joseph Matata, and Johann Swinnen among others.
Me Flamme had as a goal to deny the genocide so that the crimes Neretse was accused of would be invalidated.
Me Flamme’s statement outraged a lot of people at the hearing which led to the judge demanding order and for Me Flamme to avoid any statement implying genocide denial.
Me Flamme has for a very long time denied the genocide against Tutsi and showed it as he was representing Tharcisse Renzaho who was also indicted for genocide crimes.
The court provided evidence that Neretse bribed prosecutors and witnesses with land and money so that they wouldn’t testify of his crimes.
The trial of Fabien Neretse who is now 71 years old started on November 4th, 2019 where 106 witnesses were summoned to appear and 25 hearings were scheduled until December 16th, 2019.
Neretse who originates from former Ruhengeri was arrested in France in 2011. He was a prominent figure in Habyarimana’s government and was first indicted for ordering soldiers to open fire on ten people killing the Belgian Claire Beckers, her husband Isaiah Bucyana and their daughter Katia.
This happened on April 9th, 1994 after the victims were ambushed on their way to find refuge at UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda) camp in Nyamirambo.
Neretse was given 15 days to apply for another hearing at the Brussels Court of Assize.