Former Minister of Finance in the interim government of Rwanda in 1994 Emmanuel Ndindabahizi today pleaded not guilty to charges arising from his alleged role in the genocide of 1994. The accused entered the plea during his initial appearance before Judge Navanethem Pillay, presiding judge of Trial Chamber I and President of the Tribunal. He was represented by Mr. Pascal Besnier (France), Counsel assigned to him by the Registrar.
The amended indictment of 4 October 2001 against the accused contains five counts charging him with genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity (extermination, murder and rape).
Ndindabahizi is alleged to have led the campaign against the Tutsi in Kibuye prefecture, a region where he had his childhood home and had previously risen through the local and regional political administration to become a government minister. It is alleged that bands of police and civil militia under his influence and orders attacked and pillaged homes, physically assaulted, raped and killed Tutsis in a systematic campaign of violence.
The accused was born in Rwanda on 1950 in Gitesi Commune, Kibuye Prefecture. He was arrested in Verviers, Belgium, on July 12 2001 and has been transferred from to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania on 25 September.