Trial Chamber II of the Tribunal on 17 November 05 rejected a plea agreement in the case of the Prosecutor vs. Paul Bisengimana, former Bourgmestre of Gikoro commune, Kigali-Rural prefecture. The agreement was for the accused to plead guilty to some of the counts contained in an amended indictment charging him with five counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity for murder, extermination and rape. The previous indictment had twelve counts.
The Chamber composed of Judges Arlette Ramaroson, presiding, William Sekule and Solomy Balungi Bossa urged the two parties to first comply, as soon as possible, with undertakings to amend the new indictment to conform with the agreement. The Chamber noted that discrepancies between the indictment and the agreement had an impact on the unequivocal plea the accused had entered.
In the agreement the accused had pleaded guilty to count III murder as a crime against humanity and to count IV extermination as a crime against humanity. The accused pleaded not guilty to all the other counts. In response, the Prosecutor had invited the Chamber to dismiss the charges and render a verdict of not guilty in regard to the counts to which Bisengimana had pleaded not guilty.
The amended indictment alleges that Bisengimana committed the crimes in Bugesera region in Kigali-Rural prefecture. It alleged that the accused organised, planned and participated in the killing of thousands people who had sought refuge at Musha church in Gikoro. Bisengimana is also charged with having instigated a small crowd of Hutu civilians gathered in Musha cellule, Gikoro commune to rape Tutsi women. Several Tutsi women are alleged to have been raped as a result.
Bisengimana was arrested in Mali on 4 December 2001 and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 11 March 2002. He was assisted by his Lawyer Catherine Mabille, France.