Arusha, 19 June 2008 (FH) - Rwandan Military Court Wednesday decided to retain in custody four Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) soldiers accused of having played a part in the murder in June 1994 of 13 clergymen, including three bishops.

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They are: General Wilson Gumisiriza, Major Wilson Ukwishaka, Captains John Butera and Dieudonné Rukeba.

On Tuesday, the accused asked to be temporarily released, attributing to irregularities in their arrest and detention. Two of the accused during the initial appearance , pleaded guilty.

However, the prosecutor requested that they be remanded for 30 days to allow more thorough investigations.

Taking into consideration that two of the accused have already pleaded guilty, the court upheld the prosecutor's argument and ordered further detention.

According to the Rwandan army, the four officers were arrested last week after investigations carried out jointly by the Prosecutor General of Rwanda and the Office of the Prosecution (OTP) of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

They are accused of complexity in murder as war crimes, on 5 June 1994, in central Rwanda.

The four officers were then members of the armed wing of the RPF (the former rebellion currently in power).

Among the clergymen killed were the Archbishop of Kigali Vincent Nsengiyumva, Bishop of Byumba (northern Rwanda), Joseph Ruzindana, Bishop of Kabgayi (central Rwanda) and Thaddee Nsengiyumva, then president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda.


© Hirondelle News Agency