The man accused of having killed Queen Rosalie Gicanda and dozens of other people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, yesterday made his innitial appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
According to information from the ICTR Press Centre, Ildephonse Nizeyimana, the former second in command, in charge of intelligence and military operations at ESO (Ecole des Sous Officiers) made his initial appearance yesterday and pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
“The accused, who was initially jointly charged with two others; Tharcisse Muvunyi and Ildephonse Hategekimana; is facing four counts of genocide, or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity,” reads an ICTR press statement.
According to the charge sheet, he is accused of having exercised authority over soldiers and personnel at the camp and was perceived as a member of the elite inner circle (Akazu) of the then president Juvenal Habyarimana.
“He is accused among other things of having sent a section of soldiers to the home of the former Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda, and ordered her execution, which was subsequently carried out,” read a charge sheet.
Nizeyimana is also alleged to have, planned, incited to commit, ordered, committed, or in some other way, aided and abetted the planning, preparation of executions.
Nizeyimana commonly referred to as the “Queen Killer” for killing Queen Gicanda, the wife of the late King Mutara III, was arrested by the Ugandan police on October 5 in a hotel and immediately extradited to the ICTR where he is being held at the UN Detention Facility in Arusha.
Before his arrest, he appeared on the United States list of terrorists with a $ 5million bounty for his arrest.
He is said to have sneaked into Uganda, where he was arrested, through Bunagana Border post from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) using fake travel documents.