Former Mayor acquitted of genocide charges

SOUTHERN PROVINCE MUHANGA — The Gitarama Gacaca court on Tuesday acquitted the former Muhanga district Mayor of genocide charges.

SOUTHERN PROVINCE

MUHANGA — The Gitarama Gacaca court on Tuesday acquitted the former Muhanga district Mayor of genocide charges.

Augustin Hategeka, was appearing in court for the third time, on charges of establishing a roadblock, ordering killings and causing the death of one only identified as Burakari, in Ruvemera village.

All the crimes were reportedly committed near Hategeka’s home during the genocide, and prosecution alleged that he was responsible for the killings there.

Those killed in the area were identified as Burakari and Muyombano whose remains were exhumed last year from Hategeka’s neighbourhood.

Hategeka denied the charges, saying he knew of the killings and the roadblock but was not involved.

He stated: “These allegations were planned by those now in prison but their evidence is contradictory. It is a plan to have me imprisoned on false evidence which was never mentioned during information gathering.”

Despite the fact that the prisoner’s evidence indicated that they saw Hategeka manning the roadblock at Ruvumera, other witnesses said they never saw him.

They argued that the victims were killed by other persons whom they identified only as OPJ Siril, Safari, Issa, and Damascene.

Area residents also asked  the court to disregard the testimonies of the prisoners, saying it was manipulative and false compared to the testimonies offered by Hategeka’s neighbours.

In it’s ruling, the court freed Hategeka on grounds of lack of implicating evidence.

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