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ICTR begins genocide trial of former Rwandan prosecutor

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] Monday began the trial of a former deputy state prosecutor who later worked as an ICTR investigator under an alias by formally charging him with four counts [ICTR press release] of genocide, murder, extermination and other crimes against humanity. In the amended indictment [PDF text], Simeon Nchamihigo is accused of ordering another to kill a Tutsi victim by lighting a mattress on fire, and of ordering the same person to kill a Tutsi family by lighting their car on fire. Other allegations, contained in the amended indictment and the original indictment [PDF text] filed in 2001, allege that Nchamihigo ordered the deaths of other Tutsis, and drafted a list of other Tutsis and opposition leaders to be murdered. The main difference between the original indictment and the amended version is that the ICTR will not be charging Nchamihigo with violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Last week, the court settled [JURIST report] a dispute with the Rwandan government [JURIST report] over the hiring of employees having connections with the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] by agreeing to run more background checks. Nchamihigo was taken into custody by court security staff in 2001 while working as an investigator [Dowjones report] for the legal team defending former Rwanda army officer Samuel Imanishimwe. Reuters has more.

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