02.07.10 - ICTR/SUMMARY - CONVICTION OF ELDEST GENOCIDE-ACCUSED, DEATH OF NZIRORERA AND ARREST

Arusha, July 02, 2010 (FH) - The eldest genocide-suspected, Yusuf Munyakazi who was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, the death of an accused, Joseph Nzirorera, and an arrest of genocide suspect in Uganda were the major events which featured this week at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
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The 75 year old former business man, Munyakazi was on Wednesday convicted for genocide and extermination.

Handing down the verdict, Cameroonian Judge Florence Rita Arrey said Munyakazi was liable for ‘'committing'' killings against approximately 5,000 Tutsis who took refugee at Shangi parish and the other group of Tutsis housed at Mibilizi church in Cyangugu prefecture, South-West Rwanda on April 29 and 30, 1994.   

‘'The Trial Chamber has found that Munyakazi was the leader of these attacks, and that he arrived with two vehicles carrying group of Interahamwe (notorious militiamen) from outside the Shangi and Mibilizi areas,'' Judge Arrey affirmed and handed down the penalty of 25 years jail term.

However the court did not find Munyakazi guilty of the attacks which took place at Nyamasheke parish in Kagano commune also in Cyangugu prefecture because the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubts that the accused was involved.

Tanzanian lead defence Counsel for Munyakazi, Professor Jwani Mwaikusa  told Hirondelle News Agency immediately after the verdict that he would appeal against the judgment declining to give more details.

On the same day, Pastor Jean- Bosco Uwinkindi was arrested in Uganda   as he entered the country from the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

ICTR Deputy Prosecutor, Christopher Bongani Majola told Hirondelle News Agency that the accused would be transferred to the United Nations Detention Facilities (UNDF) in Arusha, Tanzania by the end of this week.

Pastor Uwinkindi was born in Rutsiro commune, Kibuye prefecture (west Rwanda) in 1951 and during the 1994 genocide he was the Pastor in charge of Pentecostal Church at Nyamata sector in Kigali-Rural prefecture.

The former Pastor is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. He is alleged to have led attacks and killings in his prefecture and at his own church.   

Meanwhile genocide-accused and former Secretary General of the Rwandan ruling party in 1994 Joseph Nzirorera, 59, passed away in Arusha on Thursday.

The deceased was at the final stage of the presentation of his defense.

He was being prosecuted together with former President of MRND, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and  former Vice President of the party, Edouard Karemera who had already concluded his defence case.

 NI/ER/GF

© Hirondelle News Agency