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Hategekimana Pleads Not Guilty to Amended Indictment

Idelphonse Hategekimana, Lieutenant and former Commander of the Ngoma Camp in Butare prefecture, today pleaded not guilty to four counts of an amended indictment during a further appearance before Trial Chamber III. The new indictment charges Hategekimana with genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity for murder and rape.

Earlier, on 28 February 2003, Hategekimana had 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 before Judges Rachida Khalid Khan, presiding, Lee Gacugia Muthoga and Emile Francis Short.

Hategekimana was in the original indictment jointly charged with Tharcise Muvunyi and Idelphonse Nizeyimana. On 11 December 2003, the Prosecution was granted leave to sever Muvunyi from the original indictment and ordered to file a separate indictment against him. Muvunyi was subsequently tried and convicted while Nizeyimana is still at large. The Prosecution on 23 September 2007 was again granted a request to sever the cases of the remaining co-Accused and then ordered to amend the indictment against Hategekimana.

In the indictment, Hategekimana, in his position as Commander of Ngoma Camp, is alleged to have 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 accused 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. He 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. Counsel Ahlonko Robert Dovi ( Togo) is representing the accused.

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