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Former Rwandan Minister At UN War Crimes Tribunal

Former Top Rwandan Minister Transferred To UN War Crimes Tribunal

New York, Oct 8 2008 3:10PM

A former top Rwandan official facing charges of genocide was transferred today from Frankfurt, Germany, to Arusha, Tanzania, to the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up to deal with the 1994 mass killings in the small Great Lakes nation.

Augustin Ngirabatware, former Minister of Planning, was arrested in Germany last September and faces nine counts including genocide and crimes against humanity for murder, extermination and rape.

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed – often by machete or club – during a 100-day period starting in early April 1994.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) expressed its gratitude to the German Government for its arrest, detention and smooth transfer of the accused to Arusha.

Initially, Mr. Ngirabatware was charged jointly with Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Last month, the Tribunal handed down a life sentence to a former prosecutor found guilty of genocide, extermination and murder during the 1994 killing spree.

The ICTR’s trial chamber found that Simeon Nchamihigo, former deputy prosecutor in Cyangugu Prefecture, instructed the Hutu-dominated rebel group known as the Interahamwe to seek out and kill Tutsis and moderate Hutus with the intent to destroy the Tutsi ethnic group and accomplices of the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front.

The chamber also found that Mr. Nchamihigo took part in attacks on refugee places, with some of the massacres planned during meetings of the prefecture Security Council which he attended.

ENDS

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