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Alleged 'kingpin' of Rwandan genocide denies charges in court

[JURIST] Former Rwandan army officer Col. Theoneste Bagosora [profile], accused of being the "mastermind" behind the country's 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder], took the witness stand Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] and denied a role in the killing of as many as 800,000 people. Bagosora said that "the accusation that I masterminded the genocide is malicious and meant to ruin my name." Bagosora and three other military leaders, Gratien Kabiligi, Anatole Nsengiyumva and Aloys Ntabakuze, are being tried together and all have pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Prosecutors maintain that Bagosora oversaw the killings from his office in the Ministry of Defense during the tumultuous period following the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana [Wikipedia profile], whose plane was shot down as it attempted to land in Kigali in April 1994. Since its inception ten years ago, the ICTR has indicted 81 people, convicted 22 and acquitted three. AP has more.

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