The initial appearances of the suspects indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal tor Rwanda (ICTR) took place on May 30 and 31, 1996. The proceedings have now just begun and for the first time the accused have been brought before the judges.
On May 30, 1996, the following accused were heard by the Trial Chamber composed of Judge Laïty Kama (presiding), Judge Lennart Aspegren and Judge Navanethem Pillay:
- Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda, assisted by his counsel Mr. Luc De Temmerman, of the Brussels Bar Association, in the morning;
- Jean-Paul Akayesu, assisted by his counsel, Mr. Johan Scheers, of the Brussels Bar Association in the afternoon.
Both are charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions. In agreement with their ccunse!s. each one of them pleaded not guilty on all counts.
On May 31, 1996, Clément Kayishema, assisted by Mr. André Ferran. President of the Montpellier Bar Association, appeared before the Trial Chamber, composed of Judge Laïty Kama, Presiding Judge, Judge Lennart Aspegren and Judge Yakov Ostrovsky. Clement Kayishema is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions. He is charged with a total of 25 counts. On all these counts, he decided to plead not guilty.
After consultations, the Registrar. Dr. Andronico O. Adede and all parties concerned agreed on the following dates for the hearings on the merits:
26 September 1996: Jean-Paul Akayesu
17 October 1996: Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda
07 November 1996: Clément Kayishema