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Rwandan ex-intel chief claims innocence in final remarks of France's first-ever genocide trial

A former Rwandan intelligence chief says his innocence "needs no more proof" as arguments concluded in France's first trial over Rwanda's genocide.

After 5-1/2 weeks of hearings, the jury retired to discuss charges of complicity in genocide and war crimes against 54-year-old Pascal Simbikangwa over the 1994 genocide that left at least 500,000 dead, mostly ethnic Tutsis. A verdict was expected later Friday.

In 15-minute final remarks, the disabled former high-ranking government official insisted he never saw dead bodies, appealed to the jury's "conscience" and asked for a prayer for Tutsis and Hutus who died.

France — a former colonial power in Africa which had strong ties to the Hutu government — has faced accusations of acting too slowly to bring those behind the genocide to justice.