The former Mayor of Mukingo in Ruhengeri Prefecture, Juvénal Kajelijeli, today pleaded not guilty to an amended indictment containing eleven counts charging him with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions.
The Prosecution, which was granted leave by Trial Chamber II to amend the indictment, alleges that the accused, who was also a leader of the Interahamwe militia in Mukingo, participated in the planning and execution of massacres against the Tutsi population in the commune.
Kajelijeli is alleged to have participated in the distribution of weapons to the militiamen and given orders to massacre the civilian Tutsi population in Ruhengeri prefecture. He also organised and supervised the creation and training of Interahamwe groups in Mukingo commune.
The accused is also alleged to have made speeches inciting Hutus to assault, rape and exterminate Tutsis. According to the indictment, Kajelijeli participated in attacks, abduction, rape and massacres of Tutsis in their homes in Mukingo commune. The indictment further alleges that the police and the Interahamwe militia, who were under the control of the accused, used guns, grenades, machetes, spears, pangas, cudgels and other weapons to slaughter the Tutsis.
Granting the proposed amendment, by a Decision given on 25 January 2001, the Trial Chamber, composed of Judges, Laïty Kama, presiding, William Sekule and Mehmet Güney, said it was convinced that the additional factual allegations, which the Prosecution had presented were not only “expansions”of former factual allegations but amounted to new charges. The Trial Chamber also ruled that the accused would not suffer undue delay and that the decision was in the interest of justice.
The Trial Chamber noted that the Prosecution had failed to comply with three earlier Court Orders in this case and had tried to amend the contents of the original indictment without prior judicial leave. It therefore included in its Decision a formal warning to the Prosecution saying that it would impose sanctions, as provided in Rule 46 of the Tribunal’s Rules, if its conduct were to remain "offensive" or otherwise "abusive", or were it to "obstruct the proceedings" or otherwise to act "contrary to the interests of justice."