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Top Rwanda genocide suspect pleads not guilty

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-15

One of the top suspects in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, a former army captain nicknamed the 'Butcher of Butare', pleaded not guilty to genocide charges during his first appearance at a UN court in Tanzania on Wednesday.

AFP - A top Rwandan genocide suspect, arrested earlier this month and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Wednesday pleaded not guilty to genocide charges.

The charges of genocide, complicity to commit genocide, rape and other inhuman acts were read out by a court official, to which Idelphonse Nizeyimana, a former military officer, responded: "I plead not guilty".

The last two charges are crimes against humanity.

According to the indictment, read out to a packed court room, Nizeyimana is accused of the killing of several Tutsis in the southern province of Butare, including that of Rosalie Gicanda, the widow of former traditional monarch Mutara III Rudahigwa. 

He is also accused of having drawn up lists of Tutsi intellectuals to be killed and of having allowed his men to rape Tutsi women and girls as part of a genocidal plan.

The indictment describes him as having been part of the inner circle of the late president Juvenal Habyarimana.

Nizeyimana, who was given the nickname "Butcher of Butare," was arrested in a hotel in the Ugandan capital Kampala October 5 and transferred to the ICTR the following day.

According to the tribunal, 11 other suspects are still at large, many of them believed to be hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

Date created : 2009-10-14

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