One of the founders of the infamous Radio Television des Mille Collines (RTLM) and a senior member of the extremist political party, Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), has died in jail
Jean Bosco Barayagwiza was serving a 32-year sentence in Benin for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
According to a release from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Barayagwiza passed away on Sunday morning at the ‘’Centre Hospitalier Départemental de l’Ouémé’’ of Porto Novo, where he was admitted on March 5.
Born in 1950 in Gisenyi, Western Province, Barayagwiza is one of the convicts who were transferred last year from the UN detention facility in Arusha to Cotonou, Benin, to complete their respective sentences.
In a phone interview with The New Times yesterday, ICTR Spokesperson Roland Amoussouga said that the cause of Barayagwiza’s death is still unknown but that investigations were going on.
“The post mortem shall establish the cause of his death. He has been hospitalized on many occasions since the end of December last year,” Amoussouga said.
In 2007, the ICTR Appeals Chamber upheld the guilty verdict of Barayagwiza for acts of genocide and crimes against humanity.
He, however, had his sentenced reduced by three years to a prison term of 32-year sentence, which he has been serving in Akpro Missérété Prison in Benin since June 27 2009.
A lawyer by training, he was a founding member of CDR which was formed in 1992 and was also a member of the steering committee that set up RTLM.
Barayagwiza was also the Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Other convicts who were transferred to Benin alongside Barayagwiza are; Georges Rutaganda, Gerard Ntakirutimana, Juvenal Kajelijeli, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi.
Others are; Aloys Simba, Juvenal Rugambarara, Athanase Seromba and François Karera.