Arusha, April 11, 2002 (FH) - Former Rwandan priest, Hormidas Nsengimana, from Butare province south of Rwanda was transferred on Wednesday to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) detention facility in Arusha, according to information from the Tribunal. Nsengimana, a Catholic priest and former Rector of Christ-Roi (Christ the King) College in Nyanza, Nyabisindu commune, Butare province, was arrested on March 21st this year in Yaoundé, Cameroon at the request of the Tribunal.

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Prosecution alleges that he played a major role in the massacres of Tutsis in Butare region. He is said to be one of the leaders of a group of killers called "Les Dragons" (the dragons) or the "Escadron de la mort" (death squad). He faces four counts including genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and extermination. Nsengimana, 48, is the fifth cleric detained by the Tribunal, after Anglican Bishop Samuel Musabyimana, Adventist Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and Catholic Priests Emmanuel Rukundo and Athanase Seromba. Nsengimana was born on August 6th, 1954 in Cyanika commune, Gikongoro province in south of Rwanda. According to his indictment, Nsengimana hated the Tutsi and the Tutsi priests living in the Christ-Roi College. These priests were killed during the 1994 genocide. He is reported to have stated in 1994: "The time is over where the churches and the parishes were sites of refuge during the crisis, that time is over". He is also said to have told a priest Justin Furaha in March 1994, during a quarrel, "I hate the Tutsi, this will not last and you will see your fate". "Since 1990, Hormidas Nsengimana was gathering weapons to use to kill the Tutsi when the time came," according to his indictment. Nsengimana is the tenth Rwandan to be arrested in Cameroon at the request of the ICTR. The nine others are two accused in the so-called Media Trial before the Tribunal, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and Ferdinand Nahimana, ex-mayor Laurent Semanza, ex-military officers Théoneste Bagosora and Anatole Nsengiyumva. Others are former ministers Jérôme Bicamumpaka, Justin Mugenzi, André Ntagerura and Prosper Mugiraneza. The priest is expected make his initial appearance before a judge of the Tribunal soon and a duty counsel will be assigned by the Registrar to represent him in the meantime. SW/JA/FH (TR-0411e)