Rwanda tribunal begins genocide trial of former senior official

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Wednesday began the trial [press release] of former Rwandan minister of planning Augustin Ngirabatware [case materials] for his alleged involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Ngirabatware faces charges [indictment, PDF] of:


genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitements to committ genocide; crimes against humanity for murder, extermination, rape, inhumane acts; and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.

The prosecution has expressed confidence that with 17 witnesses they will be able to prove Ngirabatware's individual responsibility for those crimes, as well as that he knew about the crimes taking place and did nothing to prevent or prosecute them. Ngirabatware is the son-in-law of the man who allegedly provided financial support for the mass killings, and he is also suspected of having diverted foreign aid funds to the Interahamwe militia that carried out the killings.


German authorities transferred [JURIST report] Ngirabatware to the ICTR last October, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. German police arrested Ngirabatware [JURIST report] in September 2007. Ngirabatware had been a fugitive since 2001, when the ICTR issued a warrant for his arrest. He was one of 18 fugitives wanted by the ICTR for their involvement the 1994 conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died.

 

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