20 October 2012

Rwanda: Norwegian Court to Hear 58 Rwandan Witnesses Via Videoconference

Photo: News of Rwanda
A burial service for thousands of genocide victims (file photo).

Arusha — Starting next Monday, Norwegian justice will hear 58 Rwandan witnesses via videoconference from Kigali, in the trial of genocide suspect Sadi Bugingo.

Bugingo, 47, who has been living in the western Norwegian town of Bergen with his family since 2002, was arrested there last May 3. He has acquired the Norwegian citizenship.

A businessman at the time of the genocide, he is suspected of ordering and encouraging the murders of over 2,000 Tutsis in the southeastern town of Kibungo and elsewhere. Bugingo's Norwegian lawyer, however, said his client denied all the allegations brought against him.

John Bosco Siboyintore, the acting head of the Rwandan Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit (GFTU) told Hirondelle News Agency that there "were 58 witnesses from both sides, who will talk from a room in the General Prosecution office".

"Hearings should start on Monday and continue until November 29. They will be open to the public", he added.

"About 20 other witnesses have already been heard in Oslo and are now back in Rwanda", he said.

The trial is the first genocide trial in Norway's history. It opened in September 2012 and is expected to last until 2013.

Bugingo faces a maximum 21-year prison sentence.

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