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Rwanda court opens trial of first genocide suspect transfered from ICTR

The trial of the first suspect to be transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] to the Rwandan national court system began Wednesday. The Tanzanian-based UN tribunal transferred [JURIST report] Jean Bosco Uwinkindi [ICTR indictment, PDF] in April 2012 to stand trial for his role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide [UN backgrounder]. Uwinkindi, a former Pentecostal preacher is accused [DW report] of genocide and crimes against humanity having allegedly led a group of Hutu in the massacre of over 2000 Tutsi civilians in the Kanzenze commune. The accused was indicted by the ICTR in 2001 and was arrested in 2011 as he entered Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last week a court in Frankfurt, Germany, sentenced [JURIST report] former Rwandan mayor Onesphore Rwabukombe to 14 years in prison for his role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Earlier this month the ICTR announced [JURIST report] that Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the former chief of staff of the Rwandan parliamentary police, and Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, the former commander of a military reconnaissance battalion, had been acquitted on appeal [judgment, PDF]. Also in February a French court opened the trial [JURIST report] against former Rwandan intelligence chief Pascal Simbikangwa in the country's first trial of a suspect related to the genocide. In January the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association Maina Kiai praised [JURIST report] Rwandan authorities' accomplishments in developing infrastructure and ensuring stability and security since the 1994 genocide.

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