05/07/2014 09:17 EDT | Updated 07/07/2014 05:59 EDT

Désiré Munyaneza appeals Rwandan genocide conviction

The Quebec Court of Appeal is expected to render its decision in the case of Désiré Munyaneza, a man convicted in 2009 of crimes related to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Munyaneza is appealing the 2009 court decision that handed him a life sentence.

Munyaneza was the first person to be convicted under Canada's relatively recent Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.

More than 800,000 Rwandans died in the genocide. Munyaneza, a Hutu from Butare, Rwanda, was accused of murdering and raping civilians, and of leading attacks against ethnic Tutsis at the National University of Rwanda during the genocide.

On Oct. 29, 2009, Judge André Denis sentenced Munyaneza to life in prison without possibility of parole for 25 years.