Rwanda genocide appeal trial opens in Norway

Oslo - A Rwandan man sentenced to a 21-year prison term in Norway over involvement in the 1994 genocide in the east African country maintained his innocence when his appeal hearing opened Tuesday, a Norwegian newspaper reported.

Sadi Bugingo is appealing a February 2013 ruling that he supervised the killings of 2,000 people and coordinated attacks by the Hutu extrmist Interahamwe militia, which targeted Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda.

The original trial also ruled that he transported refugees and armed killers to locations in Kibungo, eastern Rwanda, where killings took place.

Prosecutor Marit Bakkevig used part of her opening statement on Tuesday to read out the names of many victims, the online edition of the Dagbladet newspaper reported.

The hearing at the Borgarting Court of Appeal in Oslo was delayed over a year because Bugingo's defence wanted more time to review court documents from trials held in Rwanda that centred on some of the events Bugingo was convicted of taking part in.

More than 100 witnesses are due to testify during the trial, which is expected to run until end of December.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide is estimated to have claimed the lives of 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The 48-year-old has lived in Bergen, Norway, since 2001. He was arrested in 2011 and had been under investigation by Norwegian authorities since 2008 after they were contacted by Rwandan officials.