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Final Submissions Presented in Rwamakuba’s Trial

The Prosecution and the Defence in the case of André Rwamakuba, former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, on Friday 21 April 2006, presented their final submissions before Trial Chamber III of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The Prosecution called for the conviction of the accused and the imposition of a life imprisonment sentence. It argued that evidence presented in court proved that the accused truly committed genocide, “the crime of crimes.”

It added that evidence shows that the accused conspired with other Government officials in developing a plan to remain in power by exterminating the civilian Tutsi population and members of the Hutu opposition.

The Prosecution further argued that Rwamakuba took part in numerous cabinet meetings between 9 April and 14 July 1994 in which he was briefed on the situation with regard to the massacres of the civilian population. According to the Prosecution, on several occasions during these meetings, those present demanded weapons to distribute in the home prefecture of André Rwamakuba, the latter knowing that the weapons would be used in the massacres.

During the same period, the Prosecution argued, the accused traveled, either on his own or with others, to several prefectures where he urged the population to commit massacres and commended the perpetrators thereof. Rwamakuba, it added, even betrayed his medical profession whose noble goal is to save people. He allegedly checked the identities of patients at the National University Hospital in Butare and ordered the selected Tutsi patients to be forced into vehicles and taken away. Those people were never seen again, according to the Prosecution. The accused, it added, also struck wounded people with clubs and allowed militiamen accompanying him to kill women and disembowel those who were pregnant.

The Defence called for his acquittal arguing that Rwamakuba’s implication in the terrible crimes he is accused of was a complete paradox. It added that evidence shows that the accused never committed the crimes and to the contrary he saved several people who could have been killed.

The Defence, further argued that several Tutsi witnesses have presented evidence on behalf of the accused and he even employed a Tutsi as his investigator. The accused had also been cooperative while in detention, it added.

The trial is before Judges Charles Michael Byron, presiding, Karin Hökborg, and Gberdao Gustave Kam. It began on 9 June 2005. The Prosecution finished its case on 13 September 2005 after calling 18 witnesses over 39 trial days. The Defence finished its case on 9 February 2006 after presenting 29 witnesses over 39 trial days.

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