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Life Sentence Sought for Former Rwanda Intel Chief

A man prepares the courtroom with the wheelchair of Pascal Simbikangwa, a 54-year-old former Hutu intelligence chief, who faces charges of complicity in genocide. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
A man prepares the courtroom with the wheelchair of Pascal Simbikangwa, a 54-year-old former Hutu intelligence chief, who faces charges of complicity in genocide. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors say they want a life sentence imposed on Rwanda’s former intelligence chief, who is standing trial in France for allegedly directing the genocide of Tutsis in his homeland two decades ago.

Pascal Simbikangwa denies any role in the 1994 slaughter that left at least 500,000 dead, mostly members of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority.

On Wednesday, prosecutors accused the 54-year-old Hutu of offering cynical and deceptive testimony and demanded the maximum possible prison term in France, which has no death penalty.

Defense lawyers make their final arguments Thursday. A jury verdict is expected Friday.

Simbikangwa was arrested in the French island territory of Mayotte in 2008. He is the first alleged director of Rwanda’s genocide to stand trial in France, which for years was accused of sheltering Hutu militants.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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