ICTR maintains all charges against Ngirabatware

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has rejected a motion filed by the defence team of former Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware, requesting that the charge of having used public funds to finance the Interhamwe militia be revoked.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has rejected a motion filed by the defence team of former Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware, requesting that the charge of having used public funds to finance the Interhamwe militia be revoked.

Ngirabatware, 52, is charged with nine counts which include; Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide; Complicity in Genocide and Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide.

Others are; Crimes against Humanity for Murder, Extermination, Rape, Inhumane Acts and Serious Violations of the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.

In a motion filed recently, the team requested the chamber to revoke this section of the indictment, arguing that it was not substantiated by any evidence. According to agencies, the request was rejected by the Chamber on grounds that the Prosecution had not entirely finished to present its case.

The Prosecution insists that the accused is individually responsible for killing members of the Tutsi ethnic group in the then Gisenyi Prefecture, and for raping Tutsi women, as part of a widespread or systematic attack on civilians.

During his trial, a witness in Ngirabatware’s case said that the accused deployed weapons in Nyamyumba Commune in Gisenyi, Northern Province, almost three months before the Genocide.

The witness code-named ‘’ANAN’’ said the weapons were distributed after a communal meeting of about 300 people held in December in 1993 at Kanyabuhombo School in Nyamyumba,  an hour’s walk from the communal office.

A son-in-law of Genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga, the former minister was arrested in Germany on September 17, 2007, and has been in ICTR custody since October 8, 2008.
The Genocide suspect was transferred last year from Frankfurt, Germany, to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania.

Initially, Ngirabatware was jointly charged with Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, the former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research who, in January 2004, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment after losing an appeal in September 2005.

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