27 February 2013

Rwanda: Dutch Court to Rule in Second Genocide Trial

Photo: Leadership
Jail bars and handcuffs.

The Hague District Court is today expected to deliver a verdict for Yvonne Basebya, a Rwandan accused of Genocide crimes.

Remembered for singing the infamous extremist song, Tubatsembatsembe (let's exterminate them) during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the 65-year old Basebya is accused of instigating and perpetrating genocide, according to Thijs Berger, the Dutch national prosecutor.

Her trial started in 2010 in The Hague, Netherlands.

She has been living in the country since October 1998 where she got Dutch citizenship in December 2004.

"We learnt about her role in Genocide while investigating a case involving another suspect in 2008," Thijs Berger told The New Times on Tuesday.

He said in Basebya's trial, 70 witnesses of the prosecution mostly from Rwanda were interrogated from the ground of the offence.

Key role

Basebya allegedly played a key role in killing over 110 Tutsis who had sought refuge in Pallottines Church in Gikondo, a Kigali suburb.

Berger said the suspect, a former wife of Augustin Basebya, who was a Member of Parliament, was also an influential member of Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) extremist party.

Her husband is also being investigated for his alleged role the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Incitement to kill

He added Ms Basebya instigated members of the Interahamwe militia to kill Tutsis through "gifts, promises, abuse of authority, violence or threat of violence." She also allegedly drafted a list of Tutsis to be killed and used to head parades of the militia.

The Dutch prosecutor said in the trial that they demanded the court to hand Basebya life sentence.

Basebya is the second Rwandan to be tried by courts in the Netherlands over Genocide charges.

In July, 2011, a Dutch appeals court sentenced Joseph Mpambara to life in prison.

John Bosco Siboyintore, the head of the Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, told this paper that they trust justice in the Netherlands.

Years ago, a Gacaca court in Gikondo, Kigali, found Basebya guilty of genocide crimes and sentenced her, in absentia, to life in prison.

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