Two men have been jailed for life for the killing of a Rwandan journalist.

Two men have been jailed for life for the killing of a Rwandan journalist who said he uncovered evidence showing the government was behind the attempted murder of an exiled army general, a rights group said on Saturday.

Didace Nduguyangu and Antoine Karemera were arrested the day after the killing in June of journalist Jean-Leonard Rugambage.

Nduguyangu had pleaded guilty, saying that he acted on Karemera's advice after Rugambage killed members of his family in the 1994 genocide. Karemera denied any responsibility.

“The High Court on Friday sentenced both of them to life in prison,” the League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region (LDGL) said.

Nduguyangu “was found guilty of homicide and illegal possession of a firearm” while Karemera was found guilty of “being an accessory to homicide”, the Kigali-based rights group said in a statement.

Three rights activists who attended the court hearing confirmed the sentences.

Rugambage, the deputy editor of Umuvugizi newspaper, and an outspoken critic of the Rwandan authorities, was shot at the gate of his home in Kigali in the evening of June 24.

The Rwandan authorities have been accused of having ordered the killing but have always denied any implication. - Sapa-AFP