Idelphonse Nizeyimana, former second in command in charge of intelligence and military operations at ESO (Ecole des Sous Officiers) in Butare prefecture today pleaded not guilty to an amended indictment during his further appearance before Judge Dennis Byron, President of the Tribunal.
In the new indictment dated 1 March 2010, the accused is charged with six counts of genocide; crimes against humanity for extermination, murder and rape; and rape and murder again as violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II. During his initial appearance, on 14 October 2009, Nizeyimana was charged with four counts of genocide; or in the alternative complicity in genocide; crimes against humanity (rape); and crimes against humanity (other inhumane acts). He pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The accused, who was initially jointly charged with two others, Tharcisse Muvunyi (sentenced to 15 years after retrial) and Idelphonse Hategekimana (trial in progress), is alleged, through the chain of command, to have exercised authority over soldiers and personnel at the camp and was perceived as a member of the elite inner circle (Akazu) of the late President Habyarimana. He is accused among other things, of having sent a section of soldiers to the home of the former Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda, a symbolic figure for all Tutsis and ordered her execution, which was subsequently carried out.
The accused is said to have known or had reason to know that many Tutsis women were being raped before they were killed. The indictment alleges that Nizeyimana dispatched soldiers to attack the orphans at the Groupe Scolaire, who had been evacuated from the Red Cross Centre at Kacyiru.
Nizeyimana was arrested in Kampala, Uganda on 5 October 2009 and was transferred to UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 6 October 2009. The date for commencement of his trial will be set later.