Muvunyi retrial commences tomorrow

The retrial of former Rwandan military officer, Tharcisse Muvunyi, begins tomorrow at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The retrial of former Rwandan military officer, Tharcisse Muvunyi, begins tomorrow at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Muvunyi was sentenced to twenty five years in prison in September 2006, after being found guilty of Genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhuman acts.

The former military officer will be re-tried over a speech he allegedly made at a public meeting in the commercial center of Gikore, Nyaruhengeri commune, in the Southern Province in 1994.

The accused is believed to have tactfully used words that called on the local population to exterminate all Tutsis, including women and children. 

According to the indictment, Muvunyi in conjunction with local authority figures publicly expressed virulent anti-Tutsi sentiments, which they communicated to the local population and militiamen in traditional proverbs.

‘The people understood these proverbs to mean exterminating the Tutsis and the meetings nearly always resulted in the massacre of Tutsis who were living in the commune or who had taken refuge in the commune,’ the indictment reads.

Prosecution maintains that Muvunyi played a leading role in inciting, organizing and carrying out massacres in Butare prefecture, where he had control over military operations.

Muvunyi is also held responsible for atrocities committed by soldiers under his command, including the killing of two Tutsi priests and groups of Tutsi children.

Born in 1953 in Mukarange Commune, Byumba prefecture, the accused was arrested in February 2000 in the United Kingdom and transferred eight months later to the UN detention centre in Arusha. 

The re-trial will be broadcast live via the ICTR satellite. It will be held before trial Chamber III composed of Judges Dennis Byron, Presiding, Gberdao Gustav Kam and Vagn Joensen.

Ends

 

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