Arusha, March 22, 2002 (FH) - A former defence investigator Joseph Nzabirinda alias Biroto was on Wednesday transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) according to a press release on Thursday, by the Tribunal. Nzabirinda, 45, was arrested in Belgium from December 21st, 2001.

0 min 49Approximate reading time

He is charged with four counts of genocide and crimes against humanity for extermination and rape. Born in Sahera in Ngoma, Butare province (south of Rwanda), Nzabirinda is accused of massacres of Tutsis who had sought refuge at the Kabakobwa hills in the same commune in 1994. A former mayor of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi who is before the ICTR is also accused among others of the same massacres. The prosecution maintains that among other crimes, Nzabirinda raped three Tutsi women. Nzabirinda worked as an investigator for the defence of former Butare prefect Sylvain Nsabimana, one of five of Kanyabashi's co-accused. The ICTR Registry had last year terminated Nzabirinda's contract stating that he had presented false documents to obtain approval for employment in the defence team. Nzabirinda is the sixth person to be arrested in Belgium at the request of the Tribunal. The five others arrested there are former mayors Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje, ex-military officer Augustin Ndindiliyimana, former minister Emmanuel Ndindabahizi as well as ex-prefect and brother-in-law to former president Juvenal Habyarimana, Protais Zigiranyirazo. AT/SW/FH (TR-0322e)