Senator threatened witnesses – report

PARLIAMENT - A recent report released by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and the Fight against Genocide, alleges that Senator Anastase Nzirasanaho is threatening potential witnesses who would testify against him in his Genocide trial.
Sen. Nzirasanaho
Sen. Nzirasanaho

PARLIAMENT - A recent report released by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and the Fight against Genocide, alleges that Senator Anastase Nzirasanaho is threatening potential witnesses who would testify against him in his Genocide trial.

Nzirasanaho is on trial for his alleged role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Last year, the Senator was classified by the Gacaca court as a Category One suspect, whom the traditional court had no jurisdiction to try by then, consequently referring him to the classical courts of law.

“The Executive Secretary of Mataba Sector, known as Bizimana, and a woman only known as Madelena are harassed and intimidated by Senator Nzirasanaho because of his Genocide case,” the report reads in part.

The Senator has for long been trying to bury the case of his alleged complicity in the killing of a former politician, Dr Theoneste Gafaranga, in the1994 Genocide.

Reacting on the allegations, Nzirasanaho neither denied nor acknowledged harassing and intimidating witnesses.

“If I have harassed those witnesses or intimidated them in anyway, why would they report the matter to MPs and not the Police?” he wondered.

“The MPs who compiled that report were supposed to seek my side of the story before publishing the report.”

Reacting on Nzirasanaho’s accusations, the president of the Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, preferred to let the law take its course, saying that the Senate would only react if there is a legal institution that has requested for their intervention.
The Senator, who is originally from the former prefecture of Ruhengeri, in the Northern Province, has for long denied the allegations against him, arguing that he had been framed and was not

responsible for Gafaranga’s.
Both Gafaranga and Nzirasanaho were senior members the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Witnesses had earlier said that the Senator had aided and abetted the murder of Gafaranga who had been named in the Broad-Based Transitional Government as a representative of the PSD.

Nzirasanaho, who claimed during the Gacaca proceedings to have been a close friend of the deceased, could not explain why he blocked a passage in his fence which was being used to ferry food to Gafaranga’s hideout next door.

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