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Prosecution pins former senator over role in Genocide

 

 

 

ImageProsecutors yesterday told the Special Chamber of the High Court trying Genocide cases that former senator Anastase Nzirasanaho had no clear ground of appealing a previous sentence.

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court had earlier sentenced Nzirasanaho to life in prison with special provisions for complicity in the Genocide.

“In his appeal, Nzirasanaho stated that the court ignored some facts but he doesn’t state what exactly went wrong in the ruling,” Prosecutor Ndibwami Rugambwa told the court.

He added: “The court based on evidence we presented to sentence him. In the case, the court found him guilty of transporting a gun from Kigali to Commune Mataba (currently Gakenke District) during the Genocide.”

According to prosecutors, Tutsi in Mataba had mounted stiff resistance against the  interahamwe militia but when the militia received the automated gun allegedly from Nzirasanaho, they regained courage and attacked the Tutsi, hacking seven men to death.

Judges quizzed the prosecution to link the gun to the death of the seven men.

Ndibwami responded saying that hadn’t it been for the gun, the militia who were already weakened, would not have killed the seven men.

“The gun was used to scare off the resistant Tutsi hence breaking their force which resulted into the capturing and murdering of the seven men,” said the prosecutor.

He added: “We accuse him of supplying weapons to the militias.” 

However, defense counsel Donat Mutinzi, told court that during the initial hearing, the intermediate court judges ignored the contradictory facts in the testimonies of witnesses while sentencing his client.

“We clearly presented to court serious inaccuracies in the testimonies but our presentation was ignored. Most of the prosecution’s witnesses based on hearsay or gave uncoordinated facts,” he said.

He pointed out a case of Isaac Twagiramungu who in his testimony accused Nzirasanaho of having taken the gun to Mataba but he later retracted his testimony.

In his testimony, Nzirasanaho told court that during the Genocide, he gave a lift in his car to a certain soldier who had a gun and that he did not know what the soldier wanted to use the gun for.

Nzirasanaho told the judges that the reason he is being accused of genocide is because he testified against a certain Fabien Neretse who led the killings in Mataba.

The former senator alleges that after Neretse was sentenced, he came up with a plan to incriminate him as revenge. Nzirasanaho requested the judges to summon the defense witnesses so that he can cross examine them before the court, a request he was granted.  

The trial was postponed to June 17.

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