Former minister ‘had a hand in slaughter of 66 family members’

Former Justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro incited the killing of 66 members of one family during the 1994 Genocide, a witness has told court.
PINNED: Former Justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro
PINNED: Former Justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro

Former Justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro incited the killing of 66 members of one family during the 1994 Genocide, a witness has told court.

A witness, who did not want to disclose his names due to security reasons, told the High Court on Monday that Ntamabyariro together with former PL leader Justin Mugenzi (now in ICTR detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania) drew a list of targeted Tutsis in the former Gitarama prefecture before they called on members of Interahamwe – a Genocide militia group – to slaughter them.

“They made a list of Tutsi members of PL (Liberal Party) party which included my entire family. They later used that list to hunt down and kill,” the witness, who said he was also a member of PL in Gitarama, told court.

In the run up to Genocide, extremist PL politicians formed a radical faction called PL Power, which like other extremist political parties notably, the then ruling MRND, CDR and MDR, incited the public to commit Genocide.

The witness accused both Ntamabyariro and Mugenzi of bringing members of the then Presidential Guard to carry out the killings.

The witness continued that he was told to resign from a senior PL position in Gitarama in favour of Ntamabyariro, with promises that he would become an MP, shortly before the Genocide.

“I resigned and never became a parliamentarian. At first I hesitated as they were clearly violating party rules but in the end they had to force me out since they were the heavyweights,” charged the witness.

He said he survived the killings himself because he had gone on a business trip in Dubai. Ntamabyariro is jointly accused with the former deputy prosecutor in Gitarama, Leonard Hategekimana and Fanuel Nsengiyumva, a former secretary in Gitarama prosecutor’s office. They face charges of Genocide and crimes against humanity.

The trio is accused of among others, having incited the killings and playing part in the murder of the then Butare prefect Jean Baptiste Habyarimana and a prominent businessman Modeste Yadusengeye.

And one of the accused, Hategekimana, accuses Ntamabyariro of having instructed him to release Habyarimana after which the former minister was involved in his killing.

The case was twice adjourned last week after presiding judge Judith Mbabazi and then Ntamabyariro’s lawyer failed to show up on two different occasions.

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