ARUSHA - The prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has requested the court to sentence former businessman Yussuf Munyakazi to life imprisonment.
Munyakazi, a former wealthy farmer in the Western Province, is charged with counts of Genocide, or complicity in the alternative and extermination as a crime against humanity.
He is one of the suspects the Tanzania-based UN tribunal had referred to Rwanda for trial by the Chief Prosecutor, a move that was later blocked by the Trial Chamber.
Prosecutor Segun Jegede on Thursday requested the court to imprison the 74-year old suspect for life on grounds that he is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
‘’Munyakazi wilfully participated in the demolitions of three churches at Nyamasheke, Mibilizi and Shangi parishes (former Cyangugu prefecture) where Tutsis who took refuge there were killed,” media reports in Arusha quote Jegede as saying.
The prosecution added that the former businessman, with little education, could not have organized such mass killings had it not been for his wealth which gave him the audacity to implement the Genocide plan.
Born in 1935 in the Rwamatamu Commune in the Western Province, Munyakazi’s trial had been requested for transfer to Rwanda alongside those of former soldier, IIdephonse Hategekimana, Jean Baptiste Gatete a former Bourgmestre (mayor) of Murambi now in the Eastern Province,
The other case that had been referred by Prosecutor Bubacar Jallow is that of Fulgence Kayishema a former prosecutor in Kibuye who is still at large unlike the others who are in the UN tribunal’s detention facility.
Meanwhile, a witness on Monday said that former Rwandan Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware, deployed weapons to Nyamyumba commune in Gisenyi, Northern Province, almost three months before the Genocide.
The witness code-named ‘’ANAN’’ said the weapons were distributed after a communal meeting of about 300 people held in December in 1993 at Kanyabuhombo School in Nyamyumba, an hour’s walk from the communal office.
Ngirabatware, whose trial started in September last year, is a son in-law to one of the most wanted Genocide fugitives and wealthy businessman, Felician Kabuga.