Arusha, August 29, 2003 (FH) - The trial of a former Minister of Finance, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi will begin on Monday the 1st of September, 2003 at the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda based in Arusha, Tanzania. Ndindabahizi 53, is charged with five counts including genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder as crimes against humanity.

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On October 20th, 2001 he pleaded not guilty to all counts. At the time of the genocide, he was the Minister of Finance in the Interim Government of 8 April 1994 from its inception until that government fled Rwanda in mid-July 1994. The former minister is charged mainly in connection with massacres of civilians in his home prefecture of Kibuye, in western Rwanda. He is accused of organizing, inciting and supervising massacres, including making public calls for the killing of Tutsis in general and certain individuals in particular. His indictment states, "he exercised active control over the soldiers, Interahamwe (Hutu militia), gendarmes, communal police, civilian militia and civilians involved in the attacks against those identified as Tutsi. Emmanuel Ndindabahizi gave instructions to those involved in the attacks and those instructions were obeyed. "The indictment further reads, "In late-May 1994 in Kayenzi secteur, at or near Faye, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi supervised or participated in attacks upon Tutsis by requiring or directing Interahamwe militia and other persons present to kill civilians identified as Tutsis. "Towards the end of May 1994, the accused who was sharing a drink with other people who gathered at the home of the mayor of Gitesi commune, Augustine Karara stated that he had given instructions for the killing of Tutsi, and that he had accomplished the extermination of Tutsi civilians in his cellule, he also further instructed those present that Hutu men married to Tutsi women should also be killed"The accused was arrested in Verviers (Belgium )on 12th July, 2001 and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility (UNDF) in Arusha on September 25th,2001. About one million Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during the April to July 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Ndindabahizi is represented by Pascal Besnier of France, a former counsel at the ICTR for Rwandan ex-businessman Obed Ruzindana who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in May 1999. The trial will be before trial chamber three presided over by judge Erik Mose of Norway, who will be assisted by Judge Serguei Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. SV/FH (NB'0829e)