Juvénal Rugambarara today pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions during his initial appearance before Judge Jai Ram Reddy.
The appearance follows Rugambarara’s transfer from Uganda to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on 13 August 2003.
For his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Rugambarara faces nine charges before the ICTR: genocide or in the alternative complicity to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, three counts of crimes against humanity, and two counts of serious violations of the Geneva Conventions.
The accused served as Bourgmestre of Bicumbi commune, Kigali Rural prefecture, throughout the 1994 genocide. According to the indictment, Rugambarara ordered attacks against Tutsis and participated in these attacks.
After accepting Rugambarara’s plea, Judge Reddy said he would refer the matter to the Registrar, to set in train procedures so that the case would be tried in the normal way.