Kigali, 13 July 2009 (FH) - A semi-traditional Gacaca Court  will try in absentia the former President of Chamber of Deputies, Alfred Mukezamfura, accused of 1994 genocide, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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President of the Chamber of Deputies until the September 2008 legislative elections, Mukezamfura will be tried by the gacaca court of the Nyakabanda sector, in Rwandan capital. He is accused of incitement to commit genocide and complicity in the murders of the journalists Vincent Shabakaka and Vincent Rwabukwisi, alias Ravi.

According to Benoit Ngarambe, President of Gacaca Court of Nyakabanda, the case would be examined last to allow prosecution and defence witnesses to come for testimony.

The trial should have begun in December. But at the scheduled date, it was the wife of the defendant who presented herself to inform the bench and the assembly that her husband had gone to be treated abroad. After having waited in vain the appearance of the former deputy, in spite of several summons, the court has now decided to try him in absentia.

Several other former deputies have been tried and convicted by popular gacacas courts for their involvement in the genocide committed against Tutsis in 1994.

Among them are Elisee Bisengimana and Emmanuel Mwumvaneza, both from the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, now in power), and Etienne Magali, of the Liberal Party (LP).

In May, the deputy Beatrice Nirere saw herself sentenced to life in prison, followed last month by Senator Stanley Safari, who fled the country the day before the judgement.


© Hirondelle News Agency