ICTR: Ntawukuriryayo’s trial begins

ARUSHA - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have promised to avail overwhelming evidence pinning a former leader in the Southern Province Dominique Ntawukuriryayo of taking part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

ARUSHA - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have promised to avail overwhelming evidence pinning a former leader in the Southern Province Dominique Ntawukuriryayo of taking part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Ntawukuriryayo, a former Sub Prefect in the former Butare Prefecture, is charged with three counts of Genocide, or in the alternative, complicity in Genocide, and direct and public incitement to commit Genocide.

When his trial opened on Wednesday, prosecution said that they would in the course of the trial prove that the accused was in charge of the communes of Ndora, Muyaga, Kibayi, Muganza, and Nyaruhengeri and oversaw the killings that occurred there.

They further added that together with others, the accused ordered, instigated, aided, abetted, and failed to prevent Genocide in all the communes that he was in charge of. 

The prosecution team led by Senior Trial Attorney Charles Adeogun-Phillips added that Ntawukulilyayo committed the crimes with members of the government and other influential personalities from Butare.

Adeogun-Phillips is assisted in the case by trial attorneys Ibukunolu Alao Babajide and Monica Thembile Segoete, and case manager, Marie Ndeye Ka.

Other people the prosecution alleges the accused committed the crimes with include civil servants and officials such as communal officers, communal police and gendarmes
soldiers, local militia (Interahamwe), and ordinary citizens.  

To this effect, trial attorney Babajide said three categories of witnesses; participants, observers of aspects of, and the survivors of the crimes will prove the prosecution case.

The prosecution further stated that the witnesses will testify on the meetings held by and with the accused to plan the Genocide.

The witnesses will also testify on the accused’s instructions to  officials  to stop the escape of refugees to Burundi; his presence and instructions to refugees who assembled at the Gisagara market, that  he lured  to Kabuye hill under the pretext of offering them food and protection.  

“He thereafter, also instructed the hunting down like animals and killing of those who escaped death at Kabuye Hill. He was the merchant of death,” prosecutor Babajide stated.

According to the indictment, the accused arrived at Kabuye Hill with former Cabinet Director in the Rwandan Interior Ministry, Callixte Kalimanzira and a number of soldiers and that the group later killed Tutsis who had gathered at the hill.

Last month, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTR requested the court to give a life sentence to Kalimanzira for his alleged personal involvement and supervision of massacres in the Southern Province.

Ntawukulilyayo was arrested in Carcassonne, a French town, in October 2007 on the basis of a warrant issued by the  ICTR. He fought his extradition in French courts but was at the end of the proceedings transferred to the UN detention facility in Arusha in June 2008.

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