Senator Nzirasanaho risks losing immunity

GASABO - The prosecution may soon request the Upper Chamber to lift Senator Anastase Nzirasanaho’s immunity to pave way for investigations into his alleged role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.According to Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, the Senate will have to strip Nzirasanaho of his immunity, for trial by the country’s judiciary after a Gacaca court ruled that he be tried in classical courts.
Anastase Nzirasanaho
Anastase Nzirasanaho

GASABO - The prosecution may soon request the Upper Chamber to lift Senator Anastase Nzirasanaho’s immunity to pave way for investigations into his alleged role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

According to Prosecution spokesperson, Augustin Nkusi, the Senate will have to strip Nzirasanaho of his immunity, for trial by the country’s judiciary after a Gacaca court ruled that he be tried in classical courts.

“His case is currently being prepared by a prosecutor; our request to strip Nzirasanaho of his immunity will depend on the prosecutor working on his case, but he will have to lose his immunity before appearing in court,” said Nkusi.

Nzirasanaho was classified by the Gacaca court in Muhima as a Category One suspect whom the traditional court had no jurisdiction to try.

The first category consists of people who planned organized and masterminded the Genocide.The Senator is battling to stave off the case dealing with his alleged complicity in the killing of a former politician, Dr Theoneste Gafaranga, in the1994 Genocide.

The Senator who is originally from the former prefecture of Ruhengeri, in the north of Rwanda, denies the allegations against him arguing instead that he has been framed and is not responsible for the death of Gafaranga.

“You have reported about this case on several occasions and I have told you that I am not responsible for Gafaranga’s death,” said Nzirasanaho in a phone interview with The New Times yesterday.

Both Gafaranga and Nzirasanaho were senior members the Social Democratic Party (PSD), a member of the current broad-based government.

Witnesses had earlier said that the Senator had aided and abetted the murder of Gafaranga who had been named in the Broad Based Transitional Government as a representative of the PSD.

The late Gafaranga was married to Astelie Nyirabenda, a former member of the lower chamber of Parliament.

Nzirasanaho, who claimed during the Gacaca proceedings to have been a close friend of Gafaranga’s, could not explain why he blocked a passage in his fence which was being used to ferry food to Gafaranga’s hideout next door.

This case comes days after another Senator, Stanley Safari, fled the country after being convicted by a Gacaca court of Genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Currently, the Senate has two vacant seats that belonged to Safari and Beatrice Mukabaranga who was recently arrested for allegedly issuing bouncing cheques.

Mukabaranga resigned from the Senate a few weeks ago.

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