Arusha, 1 May, 2009 (FH) - The trial of former Rwandan sub-prefect, Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, opens on Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Accused of genocide, complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide, the former sub-prefect of Gisagara, in the prefecture of Butare (southern Rwanda) has claimed his innocence.

"Between 21 and 25 April 1994, Ntawukuriryayo gathered soldiers and gendarmes in Butare and transferred them on Kabuye Hill (in his sub-prefecture) to kill Tutsis who were there", claims the indictment.

"For the same period, he also collected in Butare ammunitions which were used by the attackers to kill Tutsis on Kibuye Hill", alleges the prosecutor.

This is the third new trial for this year. Two others already in progress are of former Rwandan businessman, Yusuf Munyakazi and former army officer, Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana,

The former sub-prefect was arrested on 16 October 2007 in Carcassonne, south-western France, on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the ICTR on 21 September of the same year.

He vainly tried to oppose his transfer to the ICTR, a battle which he carried to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

His lawyer feared that his transfer to the ICTR would open the way to the transfer of his case to Rwandan justice.

Transferred to Arusha in June 2008, Ntawukuriryayo is the third defendant handed over by France to the UN Tribunal.

In 2000, Paris had conveyed to the ICTR the former Minister for Education, Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, sentenced to life in prison, and Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, who awaits closing arguments.


© Hirondelle News Agency