Genocide fugitives

Extradited Genocide suspect rejects defence counsel

MbarushimanaMbarushimana on arrival in Kigali from Denmark earlier this month. He is accused of participating in the killing of Tutsi in Kabuye and surrounding areas. File.

A Genocide suspect extradited to Rwanda by Denmark early this month, Emmanuel Mbarushimana, yesterday  blocked his pre-trial hearing before the Nyarugunga Primary Court claiming that his legal counsel was amateurish.

After considering arguments from both sides, presiding Judge Felix Ndahigwa, postponed the case to July 22 to give Mbarushimana time to sort out his legal representation issues.

“The court rules that prosecution request the president of the Bar Association to forward to Mbarushimana a list of lawyers so that he can choose whoever he wants to represent him,” the judge said.

Before the decision, Mbarushimana, who is charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, murder and extermination, among others, told court that he had officially written to the Bar Association explaining his dissatisfaction but had not received feedback.

Prosecutor Ndibwami Rugambwa argued that the accused had been duly accorded a right to legal address. He explained that after arriving in the country, Mbarushimana was given the right to choose his own legal counsel.

“That he has no lawyer here is not our making and neither is it because there were none, but because he doesn’t want any,” Rugambwa said, noting that the pretrial should not be allowed to drag on “unnecessarily.”

But Mbarushimana insisted on being given a list of better candidates and ample time to make a choice after considering their profiles.

It is alleged that in 1994, Mbarushimana organised and participated in the killings of Tutsi in Kabuye, Dahwe, Gisagara, Ndora, Twarubona and nearby areas, in the current Gisagara District in the Southern Province.

He was at the time, an Inspector of Schools in then Muganza Commune.

The former school teacher had lived in Denmark with his wife and four children for the last 13 years. Rwanda filed an extradition request way back in February 2012. Mbarushimana later failed in his bid to challenge the extradition efforts in courts.

Source: The new times

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