Ngirabatware trial begins in Arusha

ARUSHA – The prosecution, in the case of the former Minister of Planning Augustine Ngirabatware, taking place at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has said it has enough evidence against him.  

ARUSHA – The prosecution, in the case of the former Minister of Planning Augustine Ngirabatware, taking place at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has said it has enough evidence against him.  

Ngirabatware, 52, is charged with nine counts which include; Genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide; complicity in genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

Others are; crimes against humanity for murder, extermination, rape, inhumane acts; and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.

Senior Trial Attorney, Wallace Kapaya, told the court that the prosecution will prove that Ngirabatware committed Genocide or was involved in complicity in Genocide. 

With his knowledge, his subordinates committed specific criminal acts and he failed to prevent the commission of the crimes or punish his subordinates for those crimes, Kapaya said

He added that the prosecution would also prove that the  accused  is  individually,  or pursuant  to a joint criminal venture, responsible  for killing or causing bodily or mental harm to members of the Tutsi  ethnic  group  in the then Gisenyi prefecture, and for raping Tutsi women, as part  of  a  widespread or systematic attack on civilians. 

The Prosecution plans to call 17 witnesses between now and October 2009 to prove its case. It began by calling an investigator from its office, who started his testimony by explaining the background of the case.

The Genocide suspect was transferred last year from Frankfurt, Germany, to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania.  

Initially, Ngirabatware was jointly charged with Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, the former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research who, in January 2004, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment following a rejection of his appeal in September 2005.

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