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Lieutenant Colonel Simba and Bourgmestre Bisengimana plead not guilty

Aloys Simba, former Lieutenant Colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces, also former member of Parliament, and Paul Bisengimana, former Bourgmestre of Gikoro, Kigali-Rural, appeared separately today before judge Lloyd G Williams for their initial appearance. Both pleaded not guilty to their alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They were assisted by two different Duty Counsel appointed by the Registrar.

Aloys Simba, who was also President of the Mouvement Républicain National pour le Développement et la Démocratie (MRND) in Gikongoro prefecture, pleaded not guilty to the four counts charging him with genocide or in the alternative complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and extermination. He is accused of having personally killed several people at Gikongoro town market and Kaduha trading centre, in Gikongoro prefecture.

The indictment also accused him of having ordered and supervised the killing of Tutsis at Murambi Technical College, in Gikongoro and in Ruhashya, Butare prefecture. Simba was transferred to Arusha from Senegal on 11 March 2002, where he was detained after being arrested on 27 November 2001.

Paul Bisengimana pleaded not guilty to the twelve counts charging him with genocide or in the alternative complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity for murder, extermination, rape, torture and other inhumane acts, and violations of the Geneva Conventions.

At one point he is alleged to have told a young Hutu who was seeking permission to rape Tutsis, “Do not keep them as wives, but rather rape them to make a difference and kill them afterwards.” Addressing a group of Interahamwe, the accused is alleged to have said “Kill the Tutsis, rape the Tutsi women before killing them and loot their properties without forgetting to burn and destroy their houses.”

Further, Bisengimana is alleged to have organised, planned and participated in the killing of several thousand people who had sought refuge at Musha Parish in Gikoro.

Bisengimana was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha from Mali on 11 March 2002, where he was arrested and detained since 4 December 2001.

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