Finnish court returns for Bazaramba appeal

KIGALI-A 14-member delegation from Finland comprising judges, prosecutors, clerks and interpreters arrived in the country, Thursday, to visit crime scenes and hear witnesses as the appeal involving Genocide suspect François Bazaramba, continues.Bazaramba, who sought asylum in Finland, in 2003, was later convicted for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

KIGALI- A 14-member delegation from Finland comprising judges, prosecutors, clerks and interpreters arrived in the country, Thursday, to visit crime scenes and hear witnesses as the appeal involving Genocide suspect François Bazaramba, continues.

Bazaramba, who sought asylum in Finland, in 2003, was later convicted for his role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The delegation will start hearing witness testimonies, on Monday.

The process is expected to last 35 days.

Speaking to The New Times, the head of the Genocide Fugitives Tracking Unit (GFTU), John Bosco Siboyintore, noted that facilities are available in Rwandan courts to ensure that the suspect, who is in Finland, closely follows proceedings in Rwanda.

“The suspect will follow proceeding of his case from Finland via video link because there will also be cross examination of witnesses by his defence – but he can also ask questions just as he did it in the previous case,” Siboyintore said.

In addition to Nyakizu in the former Butare Prefecture, where he resided, the team visited areas referred to by witnesses including, Birambo, Cyahinda, Nyagisozi, and Maraba.

“We will wait to see how the case proceeds but we think that this is a good process when the court comes to visit the crime scene,” Siboyintore said.

Bazaramba was convicted on two charges; intent to destroy the Tutsi population in Maraba, and spreading malicious propaganda calling for their extermination, crimes for which he was handed a life sentence.

He allegedly masterminded the killing of over 5,000 people in Nyakizu.

He also allegedly organised and maintained night patrols and road blocks, forcing the Tutsi to leave their homes. He planned and organised the arson and destruction of their homes and property.

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