You are here


Historic forensic evidence presented in the case of Kayishema and Ruzindana

A Forensic Anthropologist, Dr Wiliam Haglund yesterday presented extensive forensic evidence of a mass exhumation involving at least 454 individuals in the case of the Prosecutor against Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana. Dr Haglund, a Prosecution witness, presented the results of a mass exhumation which was undertaken at a grave site in Kibuye Prefecture between 17 December 1995 and 22 February 1996.

The witness told Trial Chamber 2 that the exhumation consisted of opening one of the graves located at the Catholic Church and Home of St. Jean Complex, which was the site of a massacre on 17 April 1994. Remains of 39 other individuals were recovered from the surface around the area, the witness said.

In his testimony, Dr. Haglund stated that 70 per cent of the victims recovered from the grave and the surface area surrounding it were women and children, adding that 60 per cent were killed by blunt force trauma and 12 per cent died of sharp force trauma many times to the head.

This is a historic testimony, as it is the first time that extensive forensic evidence of mass exhumation has been given before the ICTR.

Dr. Haglund also presented evidence in the form of slides, of remains of victims from massacres in the area of Bisesero, another massacre site in Kibuye Prefecture. Both accused in this case are charged with crimes arising out of their alleged participation in massacres in the area of Bisesero.

Another expert, a Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Nizam Perwani, is expected to give further evidence on the cause of death in the same case beginning today.

Kayishema, at the time of the massacre was the Prefect of Kibuye, and Ruzindana was a businessman in Kigali Prefecture. They are jointly charged with Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and Serious Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II thereto.


Meanwhile, the trial of Georges Rutaganda has been postponed to 4 March 1998, after the Defence finished cross examining an expert witness, Professor Filip Reyntjens who told Trial Chamber 1 of the Rwandan scenario before, during and after the 1994 genocide.

For information only - Not an official document

UN-ICTR External Relations and Communication Outreach Unit | Tel.: +1 212 963 2850