Arusha, 12 February 2009 (FH) - The prosecution requested Thursday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) a life imprisonment for genocide accused Catholic Priest, Hormisdas Nsengimana, for his role in the 1994 killings.

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The catholic priest, who has claimed his innocence, was, in 1994, Head of the Christ the King College of Nyanza, southern Rwanda, one of the most prestigious schools of the country.

"Father Nsengimana took part in a joint criminal enterprise with several people, the evidence is clear", stated Prosecuting attorney, Brian Wallace.

The representative of the prosecutor supported that the clergyman had had several Tutsis in Nyanza killed and even personally killed others, including priests.

"He wanted to get rid of Tutsi priests in Nyanza; he sent members of his squadron "The Dragons" to kill them and they indeed killed them", alleged the Jamaican lawyer.

 "He himself killed Father Mathieu (Ngirumpatse), a man of God, a colleague, a brother with whom he had worked with during several years", emphasized Wallace.

 "I listened to the prosecutor with attention but I did not hear anything conclusive; nothing was shown, nothing was proven", reacted Emmanuel Altit, the lead defence counsel.

"The prosecution witnesses were neither reliable, nor credible, it is the least we can say", pleaded the French lawyer, affirming that the defence witnesses presented "a credible and coherent account" of the facts.

 "Approximations are the den of arbitrariness", concluded Altit, who requested that the judges acquit the priest, a victim, according to him, of a campaign targeting the Catholic Church.

Priest Nsengimana is part of the 4 catholic priests accused by the ICTR, including Athanase Seromba, definitively sentenced to life in prison, and Emmanuel Rukundo, who is awaiting his verdict.

The last one, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, will be tried in Paris, the ICTR having declined jurisdiction of the case to the benefit of French justice.


 © Hirondelle News Agency