Kigali, 27 October 2008 (FH) - Acquitted of genocide at beginning of the month by the semi-traditional Gacaca Court of Rugenge Sector, Kigali, and released after 14 years in detention, Dominique Makeli, a former journalist with Radio Rwanda, will be tried in appeal, following the recourse introduced by the plaintiffs. The date of the new trial has not yet been scheduled.

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According to the appeal lodged, dated 16 October, the plaintiff have claimed many irregularities in the procedure which eventually led to the acquittal of the radio journalist.

Makeli was prosecuted for incitement to commit genocide through national radio, planning genocide meetings genocide and complicity in murders of Tutsis in Kabgayi, central Rwanda.

Some among those who accuse him, Jean de la Croix Ibambasi, are not in agreement with the first instance judges who concluded to acquit the accused.

"In Kabgayi, where he had come with the Prime Minister, Makeli recognized me, he came to get me, in company of the gendarme Major Nyirahabimana who killed a young man (...) It will be a miracle if I can forget that " , alleged Callixte Gasagara, a survivor, who finds it regrettable that the presiding jury did not consider his testimony.

IBUKA, an umbrella body of genocide survivors associations, did not want to react without investigating the matter. "If there were anomalies as it is alleged, we will address ourselves directly to the rightful institutions. Justice should not be an exception, even for a journalist", stressed Benoit Kaboyi, IBUKA Executive Secretary.

The supreme council of press, body in charge of media regulations, stated they are following the case closely. "Guilty or not, here we are happy with his release. Some misfortune is good. His case will be useful to us to weigh our words and avoid violent language on the air", said a former journalist of Radio Rwanda, who requested anonymity.


© Hirondelle News Agency