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Minister transferred, Chaplain pleads not guilty

Former Minister of Finance Transferred to Arusha

Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, former Minister of Finance in the 1994 Interim Government of Rwanda was transferred from Belgium to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania yesterday, 25 September 2001. Ndindabahizi, 51, was arrested in Verviers, Belgium, on 12 July 2001 at the request of the Tribunal.

The indictment against him contains five counts charging him with genocide, or in the alternative complicity in genocide, as well as direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity for extermination and murder.

Ndindabahizi is alleged to have led a campaign against Tutsis in Kibuye prefecture, a region where he had his childhood home and had previously risen through the local and regional political administration to become a government minister. It is alleged that bands of police and civil militia under his influence and orders attacked and pillaged homes, physically assaulted, raped and killed Tutsis in a systematic campaign of violence.

The accused will make his initial appearance shortly before a Trial Chamber or a Judge of the Tribunal. Duty counsel has been appointed to assist him.

Former Military Chaplain Pleads Not Guilty

Emmanuel Rukundo, former Military Chaplain in Ruhengeri prefecture, today pleaded not guilty to three counts charging him with genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and extermination. The accused entered the plea when he made his initial appearance before the Vice-President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik Møse (Norway).

Rukundo, 42, is alleged to have ordered, instigated, encouraged, aided and abetted the preparation and execution of Tutsis in Gitarama prefecture in 1994. In particular, the accused, who also served as Military Chaplain in Kigali in 1994 after being transferred from Ruhengeri, is said to have organised and participated in hunts for Tutsi priests and nuns in various seminaries and convents in the prefecture. He is alleged to have identified them to soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen so that they would be killed.

The accused is also alleged to have been involved in mobilising Hutus against Tutsis and to have said, “Tutsi are people to destroy. We must fight against them by all means.”

Rukundo was arrested in Geneva, Switzerland on 12 July 2001 and transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on 20 September 2001.

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