Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse has been sentenced to 20 years in prison over the execution of 15 political opponents in 1982.
Bouterse, 74, is currently on an official visit in China and will have two weeks to appeal against the conviction.
He was found guilty of planning and ordering the extrajudicial execution of 15 political prisoners.
The president has previously denied the allegations.
He claimed the victims, who included lawyers, union leaders and journalists, were shot while trying to escape a colonial-era fortress in Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country.
Bourtese led Suriname during the 1980s as head of a military government and de facto leader.
He took office as president in 2010, following a democratic election and was elected for another term in 2015.
The court ruled that the president had overseen an operation which involved soldiers under his command kidnapping 16 government critics, including lawyers, journalists and university professors.
Only one of the detainees – a union leader – survived the killings and was able to testify against Bouterse.
In 1999, Bouterse was also convicted in absentia for drug trafficking by a court in the Netherlands – allegations he denies.