Rwandan death row priests cleared of Genocide charges
Two Rwandan priests condemned to death have been cleared of charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The Ruhengeri Court of Appeal last week ordered the immediate release of Fr Edouard Nturiye and Fr Francois E. Kayiranga, of the Nyundo Diocese, condemned to death by a court at Kibuye in April 1998.
Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, papal nuncio to Rwanda, told the Vatican agency Fides that Bishop Alexis Habiyambere of Nyundo, Bishop Kizito Bahujimihigo of Ruhengeri, several priests, and a few relatives of the acquitted clerics were "present for the reading of the sentence."
"There was great rejoicing over the verdict," he added.
That same evening, Father Nturiye and Father Kayiranga were released from Gikondo prison in Kilgali, regaining their freedom after two and a half years. They were met at the gate by their ordinary, Bishop Habiyambere, a lawyer who followed the case, and an official from the nunciature.