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
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Brazil's oldest foe secures its place in the World Cup final for the first time in more than two decades after defeating the Netherlands on penalties.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Israel has deployed its Iron Dome defense system to halt incoming rockets. Here's how it works.
A high speed train leaves Beijing south railway station on August 11, 2011.
How Beijing built the world's largest high-speed rail network in less than a decade.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
CNN's Becky Anderson looks at how practicing underwater is the perfect way to prepare for spacewalks.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0917 GMT (1717 HKT)
An emotional Brazil fan reacts after being defeated by Germany 7-1 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany at Estadio Mineirao on July 8, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Spectacular Germany outplays Brazil to reach the World Cup final with a 7-1 win over the hosts.
Even those who aren't in the line of fire feel the effects of the chaos that has engulfed Iraq since extremists attacked.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0641 GMT (1441 HKT)
CNN's Jim Bittermann takes a look at a family who found the remains of their great- grandfather 100 years later.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Israelis and Palestinians have entered another yet violent cycle of reaction and counterreaction. Here are five things to keep in mind.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Traveling to the U.S.? You could be delayed if your electronic device has a dead battery.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 2157 GMT (0557 HKT)
With one hand, Zahra Hassan clutches a purse that matches her red blouse and skirt trimmed in blue. In the other, she holds an AK-47.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT