Woman convicted of lying about Rwanda ties

May 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM
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BOSTON, May 8 (UPI) -- A jury in Boston found a Rwandan woman guilty of hiding her membership in Rwanda's ruling party during the country's 1994 genocide so she could gain U.S. entry.

The federal trial of Prudence Kantengwa, 47, ended Monday but her sister, Beatrice Munyenyezi, is in a New Hampshire jail awaiting her second trial on immigration fraud charges to start in the fall, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

In March, a New Hampshire jury deadlocked on charges against Munyenyezi, 42, who was accused of covering up her participation in the genocide so she could come to the United States.

Kantengwa was not accused of actively participating in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Prosecutors charged Kantengwa with lying about her membership in the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development, the ruling political party whose hard-liners were accused of devising the genocide.

A federal jury determined Kantengwa, who entered the United States in 2004, was guilty of fraud in immigration documents, visa fraud, committing perjury during testimony before an immigration judge and obstructing administrative proceedings. Federal prosecutors said she could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and fined on all charges.

An international tribunal for Rwanda found Munyenyezi's husband and mother-in-law guilty of participating in the genocide last year during a trial in Arusha, Tanzania, where they are in prison. Munyenyezi, who has lived in the United States since 1998 and who became a U.S. citizen in 2003, testified for the defense in that case.

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