Ildephonse Hategekimana, Lieutenant and former Commander of the Ngoma Camp in Butare prefecture, today pleaded not guilty to five counts charging him with genocide, or, alternatively, complicity in genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and crimes against humanity for rape and other inhumane acts. The accused entered the plea during his initial appearance before Judge Pavel Dolenc (Slovenia) of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Hategekimana, in his position as Commander of Ngoma Camp, allegedly ordered, transported, and led soldiers and militiamen to carry out, among others, attacks against Tutsi civilians, including street-by-street killings in the Muslim quarters of Ngoma and attacks at a convent and at the Groupe Scolaire where orphans were gathered.
The Lieutenant and former Commander of the Ngoma Camp is also said to have watched an attack at the Matyazo Dispensary while preventing his soldiers from intervening to stop it. In addition, Hategekimana is accused of conducting sensitization meetings to incite massacres and deploying soldiers to roadblocks to stop Tutsi civilians and bring them to Ngoma Camp to be killed.
The Accused is also alleged to have failed to take measures to present, or to put an end to widespread rape of girls and women in Butare prefecture.
Hategekimana was arrested on 16 February 2003 in Congo Brazzaville, and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 19 February. He was represented by duty counsel appointed by the Registrar until he appoints his own counsel or is assigned counsel in accordance with the Rules of the Tribunal.