20 November 2012

Rwanda: Mugesera Trial Postponed Again

Photo: Timothy Kisambira
Léon Mugesera being handcuffed (file photo): Mugesera, a linguist and former politician, is accused of incitement to genocide in a 1992 speech. He was extradited from Canada after a 15-year battle against extradition.

Kigali — A Rwandan court Monday postponed again the genocide trial of Léon Mugesera, nearly a year after he was extradited from Canada. Judges on Tuesday set December 17 as the new date for start of trial. This is to allow Mugesera's Kenyan lawyer more time to prepare.

Mugesera, a linguist and former politician, is accused of incitement to genocide in a 1992 speech. He was extradited from Canada after a 15-year battle against extradition.

Appearing before the Kigali High Court on Monday, Mugesera made a number of complaints and asked for 48 more days. He said one of his lawyers, Ottachi Bw'Omwanwa of Kenya, had only got the necessary authorizations from the Kigali Bar late. He also claimed prison services had breached the confidentiality of his exchanges with his defence, and that they belatedly supplied the computer equipment he needs to prepare his defence.

The three judges of the court, presided by Judge Athanase Bakuzakundi found that the Kenyan lawyer had indeed not had enough time to prepare with his client. However, they threw out the other complaints and set the December 17 date.

Mugesera's trial was originally due to start on September 19. However, he asked for an additional two months to prepare his defence.

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InFocus

Rwandan Genocide Suspect's Trial Resumes

Léon Mugesera being handcuffed (file photo): Mugesera, a linguist and former politician, is accused of incitement to genocide in a 1992 speech. He was extradited from Canada after a 15-year battle against extradition.

A high court will resume hearing the case involving Leon Mugesera after the expiry of the 27 days that the court had granted him. Read more »