Skip to main content

Woman lied about role in Rwanda genocide, U.S. jury says

By Kristina Sgueglia, CNN
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 0148 GMT (0948 HKT)
Courtroom sketch of Beatrice Munyenyezi.
Courtroom sketch of Beatrice Munyenyezi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Beatrice Munyenyezi, 43, was convicted of lying on her naturalization documents
  • Her U.S. citizenship is revoked and she will face sentencing in June
  • She was not on trial for war crimes in the Rwandan genocide of 1994

(CNN) -- A New Hampshire jury on Thursday convicted a Rwandan woman of lying about her role in a 1994 genocide in her home country to acquire U.S. citizenship.

Beatrice Munyenyezi, 43, had her citizenship revoked and will face sentencing in June for two counts of lying on U.S. government applications, authorities said.

She faces up to 10 years behind bars, a $250,000 fine on each count and possible deportation, according to the Justice Department.

Munyenyezi, who was not on trial for war crimes, was found guilty of intentionally lying on a refugee questionnaire and naturalization documents about her role in the infamous slaughter in which ethnic Hutu militants butchered their Tutsi counterparts over a three-month period.

Read more: Rwanda closes tribunals overseeing genocide prosecutions

Prosecutors argued that Munyenyezi, a Hutu, was a member of an extremist group associated with a paramilitary organization that set up roadblocks and targeted fleeing Tutsis and their sympathizers.

"Testimony during the 12-day trial revealed that Munyenyezi concealed her involvement in the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development, the political party in power before and during the Rwandan genocide," according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release provided by Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the agency. "Munyenyezi misrepresented this fact in order to obtain immigration and naturalization benefits."

Read more: Former Rwandan minister sentenced

One of the roadblocks was set up outside the Ihuriro Hotel, an establishment owned by her husband's family, according to the indictment.

The mother of three is thought to be married to former militia leader Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, who was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to life in prison last year. She is thought to have lived in the hotel and helped pick out those who arrived at a nearby checkpoint to be executed or raped.

Her attorney, David Ruoff, said they would appeal the decision.

Read more: Film pioneer helps Rwanda build new identity

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT