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Arusha, January 8th 2007 (FH) - The trial of the former prefect of Kigali, Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, notably accused of genocide, opened this Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hirondelle Agency has reported. Renzaho, 63 years old, faces charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, murder as crime against humanity, rape as crime against humanity, murder as war crime and rape as war crime. He pleads not guilty on all six counts. As the trial opened and before he started presenting the evidences for the prosecution, the deputy prosecutor, Jonathan Moses (New Zealand), declared that after April 6th 1994, Renzaho « took part in massacres of Tutsi citizens, in the spoliation and destruction of their goods ». After the government had left the capital, he represented the « highest governmental authority », Moses said. « There were at least 200 police officers under his command; he could commandeer the gendarmerie; Renzaho used these forces as a means to reach his goal », the magistrate continued. « The prefecture of Kigali had become one of the operation centers of the genocide forces », he alleged. « If Renzaho had asked (the Interhamwe militia – Editor’s note) to put an end to the killings, they would have done it » he assumed. He eventually alleged that Renzaho had encouraged the raping of Tutsi women by publicly declaring the militaries were supposed to « feed » on them. In his initial statement, François Cantier, the defense lead attorney, questioned the equity of procedures at the ICTR. « This tribunal judges alleged criminals of one side only »; Mr. Cantier blamed the ICTR for not trying members of the old Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) who are currently in power. « This affects the fairness » of the procedure, the attorney considered, stressing that « Renzaho was and remains an unshakable adversary of the power in place in Kigali ». He also accused the Rwandan government of « instrumentalizing » the country’s judicial system by exercising « a close and severe control over the population » and particularly over the persons called to testify before the ICTR. Then, Judge Erik Mose (Norway), president of the Chamber, and his assistants Judge Sergei Egorov (Russian Federation) and Judge Rita Arrey (Cameroon), moved on to proceed to the hearing of the first prosecution witness. And already, a hurly brawl started. A prosecutor investigator wanted the court to accept as evidence a telephone tapping in which Renzaho could be heard saying “Exterminate them all”. Because the origin of the document cannot be traced back, the court has had to refuse it. This session is supposed to last two months. ER/PB/GF © Hirondelle News Agency