“Remand was confirmed in appeal yesterday (Wednesday), while waiting for the opening of the trial”, reported Thursday the government radio station, Radio Rwanda.
At the time of their initial appearance before a military judge on 17 June, Captains John Butera and Dieudonne Rukeba pleaded guilty, whereas General Wilson Gumisiriza and Major Wilson Ukwishaka claimed their innocence.
The following day, the military court decided to remand them until trial, in spite of the protests by their lawyers who asserted irregularities in the arrest and detention.
The accused immediately appealed.
The four are accused of murder as complexity in war crimes, on 5 June 1994, in central Rwanda, of the clergymen.
The officers were then members of the armed wing of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the rebellion currently in power in Kigali.
Among the clergymen killed were the Archbishop of Kigali, Vincent Nsengiyumva, the Bishop of Byumba (northern Rwanda) Joseph Ruzindana, and the Bishop of Kabgayi (central Rwanda) Thaddée Nsengiyumva, then president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda.
After the arrest of the suspects, the current Archbishop of Kigali, Thaddée Ntihinyurwa, told BBC that he feared government interference in the case.
During his monthly press briefing last week in Kigali, the Rwandan President Paul Kagame said he was astonished to hear such a statement from the clergyman, who was himself the object of investigations on his alleged role in the 1994 genocide.