Kigali, 26 May 2009 (FH) - Gacaca Court from southern Rwanda Monday acquitted a Catholic Priest, Josaphat Hitimana, who was tried in absentia for his alleged role in the 1994 genocide, reports Hirondelle Agency .

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According to a source from the Rwandan League for Promotion and Defence of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR), Father Hitimana, who appeared before the gacaca court of Gahogo, was accused of having played a part in the murder of his former ethnic Tutsi secretary.

However, there is another pending case before another gacaca court against the priest, who has been on the run since May.

It has been alleged that the priest might have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he has a family.

Meanwhile, genocide trial of another catholic priest of the region, Father Joseph Ndagijimana, continued Tuesday before the gacaca court of Byimana.

In prison for more than ten years, the catholic priest, who is jointly tried, has been accused of having played a part in the murders of several Tutsis in 1994.

 The gacaca (pronounced gatchatcha) courts are charged with trying alleged authors of the 1994 genocide which resulted, according to the U.N., in nearly 800, 000 deaths, mainly of ethnic Tutsis.

The gacaca courts are not presided by professional judges, but by people considered of high esteem in the society.


© Hirondelle News Agency