Arusha, January 30, 2004 (FH) – The former counsellor of Gishyita sector (Gishita commune, Kibuye province) Mikaelii Muhimana, popularly known as “Mika”, on Friday made a second initial appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Muhimana 54, first made his first initial appearance on November 24, 1999, but his indictment was amended making it necessary to plead again to the new charges.

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The accused is now charged with four counts; genocide, or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, and two counts of crimes against humanity (rape and murder). The indictment states that Mika Muhimana personally raped many Tutsi women in Gishyita and the surrounding areas. It also states that together with other administration officials of Kibuye, he distributed arms to Interahamwe militia and other civilians in order to carry out the genocide. It continues that on many occasions, he killed or ordered to kill, Tutsi women and girls after raping and publicly humiliating them. The accused denied all charges before Judge Erik Møse in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR. He is represented by Professor James Mwene Songa and Kazadi Kabimba, both from the Kinshasa Bar (Democratic Republic of Congo). Son of Manasse Ntamakemwa and Thamar Mukamugema, Muhimana was a businessman before being elected counsellor of Gishyita in 1988. He remained in the post until the end of July 1994. He was arrested in Tanzania on November 8, 1999 and trasferred the same day to the United Nations Detention Facilities (UNDF) in Arusha. No date yet has been fixed for his trial. KN/CE/FH (MM'0130c)