Arusha, July 12, 2011(FH) -If one goes through the indictments in the case involving former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware and that of the most wanted genocide fugitive Félicien Kabuga, he or she would discover that the two accused do not have only family links.

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According to the prosecution, the two accused have criminal connections particularly on the issue involving Interahamwe, the notorious militiamen who allegedly carried out much of the mass killing during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.     

Both are charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative, complicity ion genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.   

The cases for the alleged ‘tandem' have been running for hearing simultaneously before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for about four weeks now.   

While Ngirabatware's trial has reached at the stage of presentation of defence, that of Kabuga is for special deposition arrangements.  The Kabuga case which started on May 23, 2011, is not a trial per say, but rather the proceedings conducted to preserve evidence for a future trial upon his arrest.   

In the indictment, Ngirabatware is accused, among others, of supporting Interahamwe militias in prefecture of Gisenyi in North of Rwanda, particularly in his home Nyamyumba Commune by providing them weapons to be used to kill and exterminate Tutsis.   

The first page of his indictment describes Ngirabatware as "an academic, whose participation in government as the head of a key ministry that controlled significant funds, as well as his position as son-in-law of Kabuga, wealthy businessman closely aligned to President Juvenal Habyarimana, made him an influential person in Rwanda in general and in Gisenyi prefecture in particular."   

His amended indictment dated April 13, 2009, states that in March 1994, Ngirabatware, Kabuga and others, "held a meeting in the house of (an official) in Nyamyumba Commune, in which they agreed that the Tutsis were enemy and had to be identified, arrested and killed."   

Within the same period, according to the indictment, "Ngirabatware attended a meeting at the MRND Palace in Gisenyi along with Felicien Kabuga (and others). The participants including Ngirabatware agreed to provide Interahamwe militia with food, logistics and money in order to enhance their ability to hunt for the Tutsi ethnic group who were identified as the enemy of Rwanda."   

"In April 1994 after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, Ngirabatware transported weapons to Nyamyumba Commune (...) for distribution to the Interahamwe militia for the purpose of eliminating members of Tutsi ethic group in Gisenyi (between) April and July 1994," the indictment says.   

Furthermore, it is alleged in the indictment that, in mid May 1994, Ngirabatware distributed arms and ammunition to the Interahamwe, which were used to kill Tutsis.   

While for Kabuga, a powerful businessman in Rwanda, his indictment implicates him funding the notorious militiamen at various places, including at Gisenyi, the home prefecture for Ngirabatware.   

According to his amended indictment dated October 1, 2004, "under President Habyarimana's rule, political and financial power in Rwanda was consolidated within a tight circle, the core of which was the extended family of the president. Felicien Kabuga was a prominent member of this group by reason of marriage of two of his daughters to two sons of president."   

The indictment reads that on April 25, 1994 at the Meridien hotel in Gisenyi, Kabuga "chaired a meeting attended by (several others), who together agreed to establish (Fonds de Défencse Nationale) FDN in order to raise funds for the purpose of providing financial and logistical support for the Interahamwe..."   

"Between April 25 and July 17, 1994, Felicien Kabuga raised and solicited funds to provide financial and logistical support for the Interahamwe in order to attack, kill or cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of the Tutsi population with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the Tutsi ethnic group," it states.   

According to the indictment, during the period from April 25 through July 1994, the Interahamwe, particularly from Gisenyi, "received support from the FDN that facilitated (them) in attacking, killing and injuring thousands of civilian Tutsis in Rwanda, in particular in the Bisesero Hills of Kibuye prefecture."   

The indictment alleges further that between April and July 1994, Kabuga provided vehicles to be used by the Interahamwe militias. Such vehicles were allegedly used to transport arms and the Interahamwe militias to meetings and various massacre sites in Gisenyi.   


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