Rwanda genocide accused remanded

A British court remand four men after receiving extradition warrants from Rwanda.

    Over 800,000 minority Tutsis were massacred in one of Africa's worst racial conflicts [AP]

    Over 800,000 Tutsis were massacred by majority Hutus in one of Africa's worst racial conflicts.
     
    At a hearing at a Westminster magistrates’ court, Nteziryayo was remanded in custody until January 5. Bajinya, Munyaneza and Ugirashebuja were remanded until a further court appearance on January 26, a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said.
     
    Prosecutors alleged that Munyaneza, 48, Ugirashebuja, 53 and Nteziryayo, 44, had been local mayors with sweeping powers in their areas while Bajinya, 45, was accused of having been a militia coordinator in the capital Kigali.
     
    All four men deny the accusations against them. Under an agreement between Britain and Rwanda, revealed in court for the first time on Friday, the men would not be given the death penalty if they were convicted.
     
    The massacre took place in the spring of 1994 as gangs of machete-wielding Hutus roamed the country slaughtering not only ethnic Tutsis but also moderate members of their own race while the outside world simply stood by.
     
    Rwanda began holding trials 10 years ago in connection with the genocide.
     
    Earlier this month a United Nations court trying leaders of the genocide sentenced a former Catholic priest to 15 years in jail for ordering bulldozers to flatten a church in which 2,000 Tutsis were taking refuge.
     
    Father Athanese Seromba had denied the charges. He was the 27th person to be convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
     
    The process took on a new twist last month when a French anti-terrorism judge called for Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, to stand trial for the shooting down of a plane carrying then President Juvenal Habyarimana that triggered the genocide.
     
    Kigali has ridiculed the accusations, cut diplomatic ties and accused France of trying to cover what it says is its own guilt over the massacre.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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