The trial of Gaspard Kanyarukiga, a former businessman of the former Commune Kivumu, in what is now the Western Province began on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The Genocide suspect is charged with four counts of: Genocide, complicity in Genocide, conspiracy to commit Genocide, and crimes against humanity (extermination).
Appearing before trial chamber II, composed of judges Taghrid Hikmet, Seon Ki Park and Joseph Masanche, prosecution stated that it has enough evidence to prove that Kanyarukiga committed Genocide atrocities.
Led by trial attorney Holo Makwaia, prosecution argued that it will call ten factual witnesses both survivors and perpetrators of the Nyange massacres, whose testimony it said will avail enough proof.
“The person sitting here before you is accused of the most egregious and serious charges which resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians, which included women and children at Nyange parish,” Makwaia said.
“When all efforts to exterminate the Tutsis in huge numbers failed, the accused and his co-perpetrators ordered the demolition of the church,’’ Makwaia told the three-bench judges, adding that the prosecution would prove in the court the allegations.
Born in 1945 in Kivumu commune, Kanyarukiga was arrested in South Africa in 2004 and transferred the same year to the UN detention facility in Arusha.
The same killings at Nyange parish led to the life sentence for the former parish priest of the church, Athanase Seromba.