Muvunyi trial ends today

ARUSHA - The re-trial of former Rwandan military officer, Col Tharcisse Muvunyi will close today at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with both defence and prosecution giving their closing arguments. 

ARUSHA - The re-trial of former Rwandan military officer, Col Tharcisse Muvunyi will close today at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with both defence and prosecution giving their closing arguments. 

The arguments, according to an ICTR Press release, will be heard before Trial Chamber III of the Arusha-based tribunal.

Muvunyi, who had been sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2006 after being found guilty of genocide crimes, was tried again after the court requested a fresh trial for a particular count - direct and public incitement to commit Genocide.

His retrial centred on a speech he allegedly made at a public meeting in the commercial centre of Gikore, Southern Province in 1994, which according to witnesses, called for the extermination of all the Tutsi.

A prosecution witnesses codenamed – FBX, in June this year told judges that Muvunyi conveniently used a traditional proverb; “Iyo inzoka yiziritse ku gisabo, nta kundi bigenda barakimena.”

It is said that the proverb which translates to mean ‘when a snake coils itself around a calabash, there remains no other alternative but to smash the calabash’, urged the population to kill Tutsi.

The former military officer was arrested in February 2000 in the United Kingdom and transferred eight months later to the UN detention centre in Arusha.

Ends

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