Nyamasheke , 8 October 2008 (FH) - Mrs Speciose Mukangango, a 35-year old Rwandan woman, who was sentenced twice for having testified against Mr. Deo Nziraguseswa, prosecuted for crimes of genocide before the semi-traditional Gacaca court of the Nyamasheke sector, Western Rwanda, has been acquitted of her charges.

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"The firstst time I was sentenced to 15 years like a criminal for having said what I saw and heard during the genocide. Nziraguseswa, the genocidaire that I accused was acquitted, he left and I went to prison. In appeal, I was sentenced to one year in prison "for having lied to the court". It is only before the court of Rusizi that I was acquitted and the criminal convicted", she told Hirondelle Agency.

The gacaca court of Gihundwe , on 9 September during a trial in revision, tried Nziraguseswa and found him guilty and convicted him for responsibility and complicity in the murder of Therese Karusaro during the 1994 genocide of mainly ethnic Tutsis, it was learned from François Kajiwabo, a lawyer from IBUKA , a genocide survivors association, present in Nyamasheke

"Even with these corrupted persons of Nyamasheke, I always stated to have seen and heard Déo say "Take this dirt, I am tired of guarding two families", but they preferred to keep silent and get rid of me. However, it is on this order that the old woman Therese was killed by blows from a bludgeon object and her house destroyed", said Speciose..

For a long time a cleaning lady at Mrs. Karusaro's house, Speciose knows all about this family: "Nzamwita Martin, the son of the victim who lives in Europe, entrusted, in 1993, his mother and all the goods of the family to the care of Nziraguseswa. It is him who managed the family, a child of the family what! I was more than surprised to see the same Déo coming and killing mom, she who took him as her own son. Martin, himself did not understand when he returned", said the young woman between two sighs.

Today, the judgment is final and Speciose feels that she is at the end of a great fight, "of a long martyrdom: alone against all, unworthy judges, a cowardly, bought and dumb population; I feel relieved of a great burden: to tell the truth, to avenge the death of a loved and innocent person, a 73-year old woman", she said while wiping away her tears.

For the representative of IBUKA, the trial of Nziraguseswa and the misfortunes of Speciose are representative of many trials in the Cyangugu area: "The money to buy and deviate the integrity of judges, the lie or the persecution of the witnesses and the silence of the population, truth and justice trampled... finally, of trials which are stretched in length and which go from court to court", he said.

Called for a revision in the court of another sector, Bushekeri, on decision of the National Service of Gacaca Courts (SNJG), the President of this court realized the corruption of his colleagues. Thus, the trial went to Gihundwe, in another district.

According to Delmas Munyeragwe, former president of this court, a taxi driver, a relative of the defendant, Jean Ngendahimana was caught red-handed as he gave a cheque of 150 000 Rwandan francs. The case is under investigation with the prosecution of Rusizi, hinted a source from the local police.


© Hirondelle News Agency