Rusizi , 7 October 2008 (FH) - The trial of former Deputy Elysee Bisengimana, prosecuted for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, will soon be revised by semi-traditional Gacaca court in Huye, southern Rwanda, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Judges from Huye will go to Rusizi, more than a hundred kilometres away, for this revision.

Bisengimana was a member of the outgoing Chamber of Deputies. New legislative elections, to which the defendant, a member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF currently in power) was not a candidate, were held on 15 September.

Prosecuted for his alleged role in the massacres of ethnic Tutsis who had taken refuge in 1994 in the school complex of Gihundwe, in the district of Rusizi , Bisengimana was acquitted in 2007 by the first instance Trial and then in Appeal.

During the genocide, he was the prefect of studies of this school.

"It was a very controversial trial where it was talked a lot about corruption and intimidation; the victims requested revision (...) The National Service of Gacaca Courts (SNJG) has just named for this purpose a court of the district of Huye", François Kajiwabo, representative of IBUKA, in Rusizi, told Hirondelle Agency. IBUKA is the main organization of genocide survivors.

"We were contacted by the SNJG to go to conduct re-trial of Mr Bisengimana. It is an honour for us, but also a big challenge", said a judge from Huye, who preferred to remain anonymous.

"To render justice where the recipients themselves exchanged it for corruption makes our safety precarious, during and after the trial", added the source.

One of Bisengimana's appeal judges, Louis David Rwigemera, who presided the jury, was sentenced last month to five years in prison for corruption.

"It belongs to the court (which will come from Huye) to determine the date of the trial, to launch the assignments and us to notify", according to Albert Ndayisaba of the legal department to the SNJG.

Very controversial and already indicted at the time of his entry to parliament in 1999, Bisengimana, then a RPF deputy, still figured on a list of dignitaries accused of having been implicated in the genocide committed against Tutsis in 1994.

Among them, figures also Alfred Mukezamfura, who was, before the elections of mid-September, president of the Chamber of Deputies, according to the constitutional order, he was the third political figure in the country.

His trial could begin next month before a gacaca court in Kigali.

Another former deputy, Etienne Magali, had, as for him, his faith sealed on 21 September. The gacaca court of the Remera sector, a district in Kigali, sentenced him to life in prison.

According to a consensus within the Forum of Parties, all the policies mentioned in the genocide dispute will only be ale to be made public once exonerated by justice. That is why all those who have been indicted were excluded from the last legislative race, confided to the Hirondelle Agency a source close to the forum.


© Hirondelle News Agency