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Clement Kayishema/Obed Ruzindana judgement set for 21 May 1999

Trial Chamber II of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda will deliver its judgement in the joint trial of Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana on 21 May 1999. This will be the Tribunal's fourth verdict and the first in a joint trial. This judgement is significant, among other reasons, because it deals with crimes allegedly committed by the accused in the western Rwandan province of Kibuye, where more than half of the victims of the 1994 genocide were killed.

The two accused are alleged to have jointly directed the Interahamwe and other people to attack and kill unarmed Tusti men, women and children who were seeking refuge in Bisesero area in Kibuye prefecture and to have taken part in these attacks themselves. The attackers are alleged to have used guns, grenades, machetes, spears, pangas and cudgels in committing the massacres.

In its summation, the Prosecution claimed that Dr. Kayishema in particular had planned, ordered and taken part in mass killings of about 15,000 Tutsis in Kibuye prefecture. The killings took place at the Catholic Church and Home St. Jean Complex, the Gwataro Stadium in Kibuye town, and at Mubuga Church in Gyshita commune, where Tutsis had sought refuge.

Mr. Ruzindana, the Prosecution alleged, joined ranks with Dr. Kayishema and others to hunt and kill the Tutsis in Kibuye. He is alleged to have ordered several massacres in Kibuye and to have directly shot and hacked to death several victims himself.

Both the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges. During the trial, 28 witnesses were called and 59 exhibits were admitted in support of the defence case.

Mr. Kayishema, 45, a former Prefect (Governor) of Kibuye region in Rwanda and a medical doctor, is charged with 24 counts of crimes including Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Murder, Extermination, other Inhuman Acts). Mr. Ruzindana, 40, a native of Kibuye and formerly a businessman based in Kigali, is charged with six counts of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Murder, Extermination and Other Inhuman Acts).

Media Advisory

Members of the press are advised to contact the Tribunal's Press and Public Affairs Unit for accreditation by completing and returning the form below by Wednesday, 19 May 1999.

For information only - Not an official document

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