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Alabama prison inmate deported for role in Rwandan genocide

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A woman who served a 10-year sentence in Alabama is being deported for lying about her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The lawyer for Beatrice Munyenyezi says she lost her bid for a new trial has been sent home to Rwanda. The violence involved members of separate Rwandan tribes, the Hutus and Tutsis.

Munyenyezi was convicted of lying about her role as a commander of one of a notorious roadblock. It was there that Tutsi citizens were singled out for slaughter. She denied affiliation with any political party, despite her husband's leadership role in the extremist Hutu militia party accused of carrying out the killings. Munyenyezi requested a new trial based on a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the government's ability to strip citizenship from immigrants who lied while seeking citizenship.

Munyenyezi alleged that the jury was given inaccurate instructions on her criminal liability. A judge denied her request, saying that even if the instruction fell short, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. prosecutors said Munyenyezi wasn't entitled to a new trial and could have raised a similar legal argument in her defense. Her defense lawyers said hey were not aware that other lawyers had raised the issue.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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