ARUSHA - The trial of Ildephonse Hategekimana started Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) a trial that began with prosecution assuring the court that they have overwhelming evidence against him.
The accused, a former officer in the Ex-FAR, is charged with Genocide or in the alternative complicity to Genocide, murder and rape as crimes against humanity.
Hategekimana was supposed to be transferred to Rwanda for trial alongside four other accused, but was blocked by the court. His is the latest trial to begin at the already backlogged tribunal that is supposed to end this year.
Prosecutor William Egbe told the court that the accused exercised his authority and ordered soldiers to carry out the massacres.
“He ordered Hutu civilians, Interahamwe and soldiers to kill Tutsis in Butare (Southern Province),” the Senior Trial Attorney said.
Egbe added that Hategekimana ordered soldiers in the Ngoma camp to rape Tutsi girls and women before killing them and that he also armed the perpetrators of the acts with grenades, machetes and guns.
The prosecution also alleges that Hategekimana was responsible for abduction and subsequent killings of twenty five Tutsis from Maison Generalice.
According to the indictment, the accused mounted roadblocks in the pursuit of the former government policy of exterminating the Tutsi and the victims were taken to Ngoma Camp from where they would be killed.
The accused is among the five Genocide suspects the ICTR Prosecutor Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow had requested under the rule 11bis that they be tried in Rwanda.
The request was however turned down by the Chamber. The prosecution is expected to present to 24 witnesses.
Hategekimana was arrested in Brazzaville, Congo, in February 2003 and was a few days later transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha.