Drama in court as senator turns rowdy

KIGALI - Drama erupted at a Gacaca court in Muhima Sector, a Kigali City suburb, on Saturday when Senator Anastas Nzirasanaho, who was answering charges related to his alleged involved in the 1994 Genocide, appeared to be uncontrollable.
Senator Anastas Nzirasanaho
Senator Anastas Nzirasanaho

KIGALI - Drama erupted at a Gacaca court in Muhima Sector, a Kigali City suburb, on Saturday when Senator Anastas Nzirasanaho, who was answering charges related to his alleged involved in the 1994 Genocide, appeared to be uncontrollable.

Nzirasanaho was appearing for the second time in connection to the murder of Dr Theoneste Gafaranga – husband to MP Astelie Nyirabenda – during the Genocide.
He is also questioned over mysterious deaths of two witnesses who had testified against him before.

On Saturday it took the president of Gacaca court Athanase Condo to read out a legal provision, which he said the accused senator was violating.

Condo had been provoked by Nzirasanaho’s repeated failure to seek permission before speaking as is the norm during Gacaca proceedings.

Seven defence witnesses testified on the same day, while one spoke in support Dr Gafaranga’s widow, MP Nyirabenda, arguing that the senator indeed participated in the doctor’s killing.

However all the defence witnesses said they were not with Nzirasanaho at the time of Gafaranga’s death, claiming that what they were saying is what they had heard about.

One of the seven defence witnesses, all women, was also found in possession of a note from which she was due to read what she was about to tell the court.

When the presiding judge asked her why she had taken some notes, the defence witness responded that she did not want to forget.

Witnesses had said earlier that they suspected that Nzirasanaho abetted in the murder of Gafaranga largely because the latter had been named in the then transitional government as a representative of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Both Gafaranga and Nzirasanaho were members of PSD’s political bureau. The case will be resumed on Saturday.
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