Arusha, 9 September 2009 (FH) - A Rwandan Legislator, Anastase Nzirasanaho, suspected of participation in the 1994 genocide, enjoys his parliamentary immunity and maintains his status, contrary to what had been reported in August by the Hirondelle Agency.

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The Speaker of Rwandan Parliament, Vincent Biruta, had never stated that the immunity of the suspect had been lifted, clarified the Director of Communications of Rwandan Parliament, Augustin Habimana, to the Hirondelle Agency.

The Speaker simply stated that it was only the judiciary which can prove the innocence or guilt of the Senator, added Habimana.

Biruta also said that the Senate had not yet received any request from the Prosecutor General to lift the immunity of the accused Senator.

Nzirasanaho is accused of complicity in the murder, in April 1994, of one of the leaders of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Theoneste Gafaranga.

The suspect, who belonged to the PSD, was a neighbour of Gafaranga. The latter, one of the tenors of the opposition to President Juvenal Habyarimana, had been designated by his political party to join the "Transitional Broad Based Government" (TBBG), to which was to also include the former rebellion of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, currently in power).

Nzirasanaho, a native of the former prefecture of Ruhengeri, northern Rwanda, has always pleaded not guilty.


© Hirondelle News Agency