The Initial appearace of Obed Ruzindana took place at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha on October 29 1996. He was heard by the Trial Chamber composed of Judge Laïty Kama (presiding), Judge Jacob Ostrovsky and Judge Lennart Aspegren. Obed Ruzindana is part of two indictments. One indictment charges him with:
Genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, a violation of article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions, and a violation of Additional Protocol II.
Obed Ruzindana is accused of taking part in a series of attacks during April, May and June 1994 in the area ofBisesero against Tutsi men, women and children, which resulted in thousands of deaths and numerous injuries.
The accused pleaded not guilty on all seven counts of this indictment (Count one and counts 20 to 25). The trial for these charges was set for 20 February 1997.
In a second indictment Obed Ruzindana is also charged with:
Gcnocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.
In this indictment, Ruzindana is alleged to have participated in an attack on 16 April 1994 in Kibuye Prefecture, on Tutsi men, women and children who had taken refuge in the Mugonero complex, which included a Church, an infirmary and a hospital. The attack resulted in hundreds of deaths and a large number of wounded.
Obed Ruzindana pleaded not guilty on all six counts (one to six) of this indictment.
His trial is set tor 8 May 1997.
The accused was born in 1959 in Kibuye Prefecture. He was a commercial trader in Kigali and in Rwamatamu Comrnune, Kibuve Prefecture, during the time period in which the crimes alIeged in the two indictments occurred.
Obed Ruzindana was arrested in Nairobi on 20 September 1996 by the Kenyan police and he was transferred to the UN detention facilities in Arusha on 22 September 1996.
"Kenya recently arrested and transferred immediately a person who was indicted by us. This was a remarkable performance on the part of Kenya and a very welcome initiative", said Chief Prosecutor Judge Louise Arbour during her recent visit to Arusha.