Mbarushimana silent as court hears Genocide case

Prosecutors yesterday accused Genocide suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana of masterminding the killing of scores of Tutsi in the former communes of Muganza and Ndora, in the current Gisagara District. 
Mbarushimana is taken into custody by Rwandan National Police after his exchange at Kigali International Airport on July 3. File.
Mbarushimana is taken into custody by Rwandan National Police after his exchange at Kigali International Airport on July 3. File.

Prosecutors yesterday accused Genocide suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana of masterminding the killing of scores of Tutsi in the former communes of Muganza and Ndora, in the current Gisagara District. 

Appearing before Nyarugunga Primary Court, Mbarushimana was accused of specifically masterminding the killing of thousands who had sought refuge at Kabuye Hill. 

Prosecutor Rugambwa Ndibwami said the accused, along with one Stratton Rwakimwanga and the former deputy prefect of Butare prefecture, Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, organised the Kabuye attack. 

Ntawukuriryayo has for years been living in France and was once arrested by French police over his role in the Genocide, but was later released under unclear circumstances. 

“Several witnesses told us that Mbarushimana rode on a motorcycle with a gun strapped on his back, constantly inciting the Interahamwe militia to ‘work hard’ and eliminate the Tutsi,” Ndibwami said.

Remand plea

The prosecutor prayed court to remand the accused for 30 days to allow Prosecution conclude all investigations before the case could start in substance. 

The suspect looked surprised at the accusations and stared at the prosecution as the charges were read. 

However, when his time to speak about the charges came, he neither accepted no denied, but instead accused the court of double standards. 

Mbarushimana complained that the prosecutors take seats during the trial while he is left standing through it all, saying as litigants, they were all equal before the courts of law. 

“Even during the previous hearings, I was standing throughout while the prosecutor was allowed to sit. I consider both myself and prosecution as invited guests to this court so we should be accorded equal treatment,” he said. 

Opting for silence

Concerning the charges, he said he had not acquired a lawyer, hence preferring to remain silent. 

The arraignment of Mbarushimana had been postponed twice by the same court on grounds that he could not choose any of the lawyers availed to him by prosecution, saying they did not have the requisite capacity to represent him. 

No mention was made by the defendant concerning the process to procure legal counsel. 

Felix Ndahigwa, the presiding judge of Nyarugunga Primary Court, based in Kicukiro District, said the court would today pronounce itself on both the request by prosecution to remand the defendant, and to the latter’s claims of inequality. 

Mbarushimana was granted asylum under the false name of Emmanuel Kunda, and had been living in Denmark since 2001. 

He was deported from Denmark in July.

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