Arusha, 11 January 2008 (FH) - A former presidential candidate in 2003 elections, Theoneste Niyitegeka, a medical doctor, has appeared before the traditional Gacaca court for his alleged role in the 1994 genocide.

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He appearance last Tuesday before the gacaca appeals court in the Gihuma sector, South Province, and his trial has been adjourned to 29 January, an observer of the Rwandan League for the Promotion and the Defence of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR) told Hirondelle News Agency.

This appeal trial has been adjourned more than twice, according to the source.

Niyitegeka, who was an independent candidate during the election, is accused of having played a part in the massacres of Tutsis at the hospital of Kabgayi, in the center of the country.

On 30 October, he had been acquitted in first instance but one of the plaintiffs had appealed.

The gacaca courts are charged with trying the persons allegedly responsible for the 1994 genocide which resulted, according to Kigali, in nearly a million deaths, primarily ethnic Tutsis.

The gacaca courts, inspired by traditional justice, are not presided by lawyers but by people nominated within their community but of high integrity.


© Agence Hirondelle