7 February 2018

Rwanda: Genocide Suspect Iyamuremye Cautioned for Wasting Court's Time

The Specialised Chamber for International Crimes of the High Court resumed hearings on Tuesday for the case involving Jean-Claude Iyamuremye, one of the two Genocide suspects extradited to Rwanda from The Netherlands in November 2016.

Before the hearing could proceed with submission from defence, Iyamuremuye told court that he had written requesting for assistance to conduct investigations and wanted to explain its contents to the judges.

The presiding judge, Alice Rulisa reminded him to respect protocol by carrying on with his defence submissions first and deal with the letter after.

The defendant then raised another concern about rectifying the December 19 2017 minutes by the court, which he was granted. But he had other requests regarding defence witnesses.

After he had pointed out what he wanted rectified in the minutes, Judge Rulisa ordered the following session about witnesses to be in camera for about an hour.

Thereafter the open session resumed with Iyamuremye carrying on with his submissions, with judges warning him against diverting from proceedings of the day and focusing on his family situation during the Genocide.

The jury said that he was wasting time as he only remains with 7 sessions to defend himself about Genocide crimes that prosecution says he committed at five different sites including Gahanga, former ETO Kicukiro, Nyanza, Kicukiro Health Centre and at his home.

Judges wanted him to explain where he was when Interahamwe militia were killing people at the mentioned sites, but he only kept telling the court how he left Kigali on May 23, 1994 and fled to DRC.

Court only noted that he was in Kigali by that time, but prosecution insisted that they pin him on crimes he committed mainly in April 1994.

Iyamuremye, who is also known as Nzinga, was born on December 14, 1975, in the former Kicukiro Sector, Kanombe Commune which was part of the current Kicukiro District.

Back in The Netherlands where he had lived for 14 years, he worked as a taxi driver for the embassies of Israel and Finland before he was arrested and later extradited back to Rwanda.

He was extradited together with Jean-Baptiste Mugimba, another man suspected of playing a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in which over a million people were killed.


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