Rwanda genocide tribunal opens trial of ex-mayor

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday began the trial [press release] of former Kivumu, Rwanda, mayor Gregoire Ndahimana [case materials; Trial Watch profile]. Ndahimana was charged [indictment, PDF] in July 2001 on charges of genocide or, alternatively, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Ndahimana is thought to have played a leading role in the April 15, 2001, bulldozing of the Nyange parish, which resulted in the deaths of 2,000 Tutsis hiding inside, and is also believed to have been involved in other killings of Tutsis that took place at the same parish between April 6 and April 20, 1994. Although Ndahimana was indicted in 2001, he spent more than 15 years in hiding before he was captured [VOA report] in August 2009 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ICTR continues to try suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died. In August, former Rwandan regional administrator Dominique Ntawukulilyayo was sentenced [JURIST report] by the ICTR to 25 years in prison for his role in the 1994 genocide. In July, Rwandan pastor Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi [Hague Justice profile; case materials] pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to multiple similar genocide charges before the ICTR. Last October, Ugandan officials apprehended [JURIST report] another highly-sought suspect, former Hutu intelligence chief Idelphonse Nizeyimana [BBC profile; case materials]. Nizeyimana, who pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to four genocide counts [indictment, PDF], still awaits trial. Nizeyimana was one of four two accused sought by the ICTR in order to complete its mission. In June, UN Security Council [official website] extended the terms [press release] of ICTR trial judges to December 31, 2011, and appellate judges to December 31, 2012.

 

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