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Belgium trial begins for Rwanda ex-military officer charged in 1994 killings

[JURIST] The trial of Bernard Ntuyahaga [TrialWatch backgrounder], a former Rwandan army major accused of murdering 10 Belgian peacekeepers and the Rwandan prime minister they were charged with protecting in 1994, began in Brussels Thursday. Ntuyahaga faces 16 counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder stemming from the murders, which took place during the first weeks of the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Prosecutors intend to call more than 150 witnesses and expect the trial to last until June.

Ntuyahaga was extradited to Tanzania in 1998 to face genocide and war crimes charges [indictment, PDF] stemming from the same incident, but the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda dropped all charges [decision text] in 1999. Ntuyahaga then voluntarily surrendered himself to Belgian authorities in 2004 after a prolonged extradition attempt. Reuters has more.

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