Trial of genocide militia boss Mugimba resumes at High Court


Mugimba arrives at Kigali International Airport following his extradition from The Netherlands in 2016. (File)

High Court on Thursday resumed the trial of Genocide suspect Jean Baptiste Mugimba, the former secretary general of the CDR, an extremist political outfit.

CDR was a club of Hutu extremists accused of being at the centre of planning and execution of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Mugimba was extradited to Rwanda from the Netherlands in November 2016. 

Prosecution has indicted him on four crimes; genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, inciting people to commit genocide and complicity to commit genocide.

Before the hearing could begin, prosecution had sought more time to prepare the case, which the court denied and ordered them to proceed with submissions.

However, soon after the order by the judge, Mugimba, through his lawyers raised an impediment, arguing that the court should dismiss prosecution’s indictment because it was prepared in contravention of the law.

Mugimba said that in indicting him, prosecution based on the fact that he was the secretary general for CDR and failed to prove crimes that he personally committed, adding that the prosecutors have not named any victim said to have been killed by the accused.

The defendant, who said he recognises there was genocide in Rwanda claims he was never on any list of genocide suspects before 2011, adding that he was registered to Rwandan Diaspora in Holland.

Mugimba went on arguing that prosecution witnesses were not credible witnesses because they are all convicted for genocide crimes.

However, prosecution represented by Faustin Nkusi and Claudine Dushimimana stated that they did not base their case on the accused’s membership to CDR, but rather to crimes he personally committed in Nyakabanda and Kimisagara suburbs of the present day Nyarugenge District.

The presiding judge, Antoine Muhima adjourned the hearing to February 14 where the court will pronounce itself on the impediments presented by the defence team, but added that should they be denied, both parties should be ready to proceed with substantive trial.

Born on October 24, 1959 in the then Gaturo sector, Mutura Commune, which is part of the present-day Rubavu District, Mugimba during the Genocide lived in Nyakabanda in the current Nyarugenge District.

He was employed by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and was Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (“CDR”), an extremist Hutu political party.