A member of the Akazu, the inner circle of former President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, was arrested on 26 July 2001. Protais Zigiranyirazo, a brother of President Habyarimana’s wife, Agathe Kanziga, was arrested in Belgium at the request of the Tribunal.
Zigiranyirazo, known as "Mr. Z", was born in 1938 in Giciye commune, Gisenyi préfecture, Rwanda. It is alleged that, during the events of 1994 Zigiranyirazo joined others including Hassan Ngeze, Joseph Nzirorera and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, who are already in the custody of the tribunal, in the planning and ordering of the genocide.
The indictment against Zigiranyirazo contains two counts charging him with Extermination or alternatively with Murder as crimes against humanity. In particular he is accused of having planned and facilitating the killings between April to July 1994 by collaborating with regional and local officials in the distribution of arms, by the ordering of roadblocks and subsequent killings.
During May 1994 Zigiranyirazo allegedly ordered his son Jean-Marie-Vianney Makiza to kill three gendarmes who had been detained at a roadblock in Giciye, that was located opposite his residence.
He will be transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha as soon as legal formalities in Belgium have been completed.