Hormisdas Nsengimana, a priest who was formerly Rector of Christ-Roi College in Nyanza, Nyabisindu Commune in Butare Prefecture, today pleaded not guilty to three counts charging him with genocide, murder and extermination as crimes against humanity during his further appearance. Nsengimana, 53, made the appearance before trial chamber II composed of Judges William Sekule, presiding, Arlette Ramaroson and Solomy Balungi Bossa.
On 16 April 2002, during his initial appearance, the accused had entered a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ to four counts, contained in the first indictment. They included that of conspiracy to commit genocide. The Prosecution had on 2 October 2006 filed a motion seeking to amend the indictment by withdrawing the conspiracy charge. It also prayed that new charges of superior responsibility in the commission of the crimes be added in the indictment. In a ruling of 29 March 2007, the Trial Chamber granted the amendment seeking to withdraw the count of conspiracy but dismissed the motion in all other respects.
The accused is alleged to have been among the organisers of the slaughter of Tutsis in Nyanza, Butare in 1994. He is accused of playing a leading role in a group of killers called Les Dragons (The Dragons) or Escadrons de la Mort (Death Squad) which played a crucial role in the killing of Tutsis in and around the Christ-Roi College and in other parts of Butare Prefecture. He is also alleged to have worked closely with soldiers in the prefecture to commit the crimes.
Further, the accused is alleged to have been instrumental in the killing of several Tutsi priests from his college. In one incident he allegedly gave some money to a young orphan to get information about the whereabouts of three Tutsi priests who had fled the Christ-Roi College. After being informed of their whereabouts, Nsengimana and his group allegedly left the college accompanied by some soldiers, in search of the priests who were later killed.
The accused was arrested in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 21 March 2002 and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on 10 April 2002. He is represented by Counsel Mr. Emmanuel Altit.