A former Commanding Officer of the Military Police and later Prefect of Butare, Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo, today pleaded "not guilty" to six counts charging him with Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional to Protocol II.
Nteziryayo, who was arrested in Burkina Faso on 24 April 1998 and transferred to Arusha on 21 May 1998, entered the plea before Trial Chamber 1 composed of Judge Laïty Kama, presiding, and Judges Yakov Ostrovsky and Navanethem Pillay. Counsel Titinga Frédéric Pacere from Burkina Faso is defending him.
The accused is alleged to have ordered the murder of all surviving Tutsis and to have taken part in some of the murders while he was Prefect of Butare. Allegedly, he supervised militia training, distributed weapons in all communes of the prefecture and gave firm instructions to the Interahamwe in conjunction with their President, Robert Kajuga. He is also said to have directly and publicly incited the population to massacre the Tutsis in Butare prefecture.
Mr. Nteziryayo is jointly charged with Sylvain Nsabfmana, from whom he took over as Prefect of Butare on 21 June 1994.
Joint Trial of Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana to resume tomorrow 18 August 1998
The joint trial of Clement Kayishema, a former Prefect of Kibuye, and Obed Ruzindana, a former businessman in Kibuye, resumes tomorrow when defence witnesses will continue to give evidence.