Nyamasheke (Western Rwanda), 4 December 2007 (FH) - The trial of a naturalized Belgian of Rwandan origin for crimes of genocide before the Gacaca court of Gashirabwoba, in the Bushenge sector, in the district of Nyamasheke (West Province), was deferred from 29 November to 6 December, reports the Hirondelle Agency.

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Mr. Aloys Mujyabwami, alias Biniga, a businessman from Kamembe, then chief of the Cyangugu Prefecture, is accused of planning the 1994 Tutsi genocide and of distributing weapons in Kamembe and Gashirabwoba, the indictment specifies.

After the reading of the charges of the indictment by the president of the chamber, the defendant explained that he did not have sufficient time to prepare his defence. After deliberation, his trial was deferred to Thursday 6 December 2007.

Aloys Mujyabwami was entrusted to the authorities in Rusizi, where his case for negationism is in the pre-trial phase before being seized by the traditional courts. This investigation follows a controversial trial on 11 November 2007, where he answered for the same crimes of genocide before the appeals court of Kamembe in the district of Rusizi and during which, pleading not guilty, he would have highly protested that there had been no genocide in Kamembe.

Acquitted in first instance, this appeals court had found him guilty and sentenced him to 7 years in prison; which he was to serve starting with Work of General Interest (WGI). At the end of the hearing, the police had arrested him and handed him to the authorities for his "denial of the genocide during his defence".

Local sources close to the police state to the agency possible corruption in this first instance and appeal trial. "What else do you want it to be", said to confirm these suspicions the IBUKA representative, an association of genocide survivors. "Seven years for somebody who is convicted for planning the genocide and distributing weapons? Article 73.6, cited in this trial, are only for persons of the 2nd category that have confessed. And he pled not guilty!", he remarked.

A fugitive after 1994 and exiled with his family in Belgium where he acquired Belgian citizenship, Mr. Mujyabwami was wanted in his native prefecture for his active role in the 1994 genocide. 55 years of age, Mr. Aloys Mujyabwami would have been apprehended during a business trip to Goma in the DRC in June 2007 and was repatriated home to Cyangugu to be tried there.

© Hirondelle News Agency