Prosecution plays videos in Ntaganzwa Genocide trial

The jury in the trial of Genocide suspect Ladislas Ntaganzwa at Specialised Chamber for International Crimes at the High Court Thursday watched video recording which prosecution said showed sites where the suspect committed killings.
Ntaganzwa leaves the High Court after his hearing in December last year. Nadege Imbabazi.
Ntaganzwa leaves the High Court after his hearing in December last year. Nadege Imbabazi.

The jury in the trial of Genocide suspect Ladislas Ntaganzwa at Specialised Chamber for International Crimes at the High Court Thursday watched video recording which prosecution said showed sites where the suspect committed killings.

Ntaganzwa, a former bourgmestre (mayor) of Nyakizu Commune, now in Nyaruguru District, was one of the nine Genocide instigators indicted by the ICTR but had not yet been arrested by the time the UN court closed shop.

His file was subsequently transferred to Rwandan prosecution.

He is mainly accused of personally commanding a mob that included Burundian refugees in which over 20,000 Tutsi in his former commune were slaughtered.

Prosecution, represented by Faustin Nkusi and Claudine Dushimimana, told the court that the video files recorded by their office showed localitions where witnesses say Ntaganzwa had played a role in killing the Tutsi in 1994.

The video files mainly show different areas in former Nyakizu commune such as Cyahinda Parish that served as a temporary refuge to thousands of Tutsi fleeing killings.

They also said Ntaganzwa brought back some refugees who were about to cross the Akanyaru River to Burundi and ordered their killing on April 17, 1994, at Nkomero trading centre.

Prosecution also showed in a video an area called Viro, where the suspect allegedly held a meeting with the militia, to whom he distributed fire arms and then coordinated a systematic way to kill the Tutsi on April 15, 1994.

Different roadblocks allegedly ordered to be set up by Ntaganzwa mainly near his office and residence at Ryabidandi trading centre were also showed in the video.

Prosecutor Dushimimana told the court that by playing the videos, they wanted to illustrate witness accounts.

The defendant, who is yet to plead guilty or not guilty as he barely speaks in court, told the presiding judge that he will sit with his lawyer Laurent Bugabo to examine witness accounts in the video before he could start his defence.

Judge Antoine Muhima postponed hearing to November 14 when the suspect is due to start presenting his defence.

Arrested in DR Congo in 2015, Ntaganzwa was one of the Genocide suspects under the Reward for Justice Programme of the US Government with a $5 million bounty each.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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