Bazaramba denied bail

The District court of Porvoo in Finland on Monday denied bail to Francois Bazaramba, a former clergyman accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi due to the gravity of his accusations. Bazaramba who has been in detention since 2007 had applied for bail on grounds that the accusations against him were untrue but the Prosecutor ruled against the request on grounds that there is still strong probable evidence pinning Bazaramba on genocide including 15 murders.

The District court of Porvoo in Finland on Monday denied bail to Francois Bazaramba, a former clergyman accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi due to the gravity of his accusations.

Bazaramba who has been in detention since 2007 had applied for bail on grounds that the accusations against him were untrue but the Prosecutor ruled against the request on grounds that there is still strong probable evidence pinning Bazaramba on genocide including 15 murders.

The court found that keeping Bazaramba in prison is reasonable in light of the seriousness of the accusations, even though he has been held in remand exceptionally long.
Under Finnish regulations, breaks of more than two weeks are not permitted in trials where the defendant is held in custody.

The trial has been delayed because of problems associated with arranging testimony of about 20 defence witnesses.
Earlier this year, Finish Judges travelled to Rwanda where in collaboration with the National Public Prosecution Authority lined up witnesses to testify against Bazaramba.

Bazaramba, 58, a former clergyman with the Baptist Church in Rwanda, is accused of masterminding the killing of over 5,000 people who were seeking refuge at Nyakizu Hill, in the Southern Province, during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

It is estimated that over 100 witnesses, all from outside Finland will be lined to testify against Bazaramba for genocide crimes.

The Rwandan government had earlier contested a February decision by Finland not extradite Bazaramba who has been in detention in Finland since April 2007, despite the application in April 2008 by the state to have the suspect extradited to Rwanda to face charges.

Bazaramba is one of the many suspects arrested in Europe whose extradition to Rwanda was requested but the host countries decided to keep them there.

Finnish law allows prosecution for crimes against humanity wherever they are committed.

On conviction, Bazaramba faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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