Background and role in genocide
Sagahutu was born in Cyangugu Province, Rwanda; he is of Hutu ethnicity. Sagahutu entered the Rwandan Armed Forces, and by 1994 held the rank of captain. He was second-in-command of the Reconnaissance Battalion (RECCE) and commander of this battalion's A company, serving under battalion commander Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye.
According to the indictment, between 1990 and 1994, Sagahutu and other officers conspired to exterminate Tutsi civilians and political opponents, and helped to train interahamwe and militia groups who committed the genocide. They distributed weapons and prepared lists of people to be eliminated. After the death of President Juvénal Habyarimana in April 1994 and the start of the genocide, soldiers including those under Sagahutu's command assaulted and killed Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and a number of important opposition leaders, and murdered ten Belgian soldiers who were guarding the Prime Minister. The indictment accused Sagahutu and the four other defendants of conspiring to perpetrate genocide, mass rape, sexual assault, and murder; of giving the orders that led to these crimes; and of doing nothing to stop the crimes when they took place.
After the genocide
Sagahutu fled Rwanda after the RPF victory. He was arrested in the Danish town of Skjern in Ringkøbing County, on February 15, 2000. He had lived in Denmark for approximately two years as a refugee. At the time of his arrest, his neighbours described him as a "good family man" who lived a comfortable and quiet life with his wife and their two children, an eight-year-old-boy and a twelve-year-old daughter, who both spoke Danish and were enrolled in a local school. He was arrested while "he bicycled home from shopping for groceries in a nearby supermarket."
He was transferred to the authority of the ICTR on November 24, 2000, and his trial began on September 20, 2004.
In May 2011, Sagahutu and other ringleaders were convicted, and Sagahutu was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- ICTR Indictment of September 25, 2002, at ¶¶ 1.15-1.17.
- Indictment ¶¶ 4.1, 4.23.
- Indictment ¶ 5.7.
- "Alleged mass murderer is good family man, neighbours say". Copenhagen Post. February 18, 2000.[not in citation given]
- "Sagahutu, Innocent". Hague Justice Portal. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- "Rwanda genocide: Ex-army chief given 30-year sentence". BBC News. May 17, 2011.
- Prosecutor v. Bizimungu, et al., Case No. ICTR-2000-56-1 (indictment of 25 September 2002)