Mbarushimana in court this week

HAGUE - The opening of hearings to confirm charges against Callixte Mbarushimana, the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), starts tomorrow.The International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, says the hearings will take place from Wednesday to Friday.

HAGUE - The opening of hearings to confirm charges against Callixte Mbarushimana, the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), starts tomorrow.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), in The Hague, says the hearings will take place from Wednesday to Friday.

According to the ICC, Mbarushimana is allegedly criminally responsible, for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution).

He is also accused of six counts of war crimes which include attacks against a civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhumane treatment, allegedly committed in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 2009.

But Rwanda maintains that outstanding charges on his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi still remain.

“We prefer to let the ICC process go on, but of course our own charges will come after. The two processes are independent of each other,” Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, yesterday said.

Apart from the crimes committed in the DRC, Mbarushimana is also accused of participating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He was working with the UNDP and allegedly used the institution’s equipment to facilitate the killing of hundreds in Kigali City. 

During the public hearings, the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber will decide whether or not to confirm all or any of the charges brought against the suspect by the Prosecutor and, if confirmed, to commit him for trial before a Trial Chamber.

After the hearing closes, judges at The Hague-based court will have a maximum of 60 days to decide whether there are grounds to move to trial.

Mbarushimana was arrested last October on an ICC warrant.

From July 2007, to the time of his arrest, he was the Executive Secretary of the FDLR–FOCA (Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi) a militia group largely composed of elements responsible for the Genocide.

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