Hearing of a case involving the recently deported suspects of complicity in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Jean Baptiste Mugimba and Jean Claude Iyamuremye has begun. The duo deported from the Netherlands appeared in court for the first time yesterday.
Mugimba Jean Baptiste, 57, was an employee of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and the executive secretary of CDR political party during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The prosecution accuses Mugimba of inviting a meeting on 8th April 1994 attended by Nyirimanzi Gregoire, the leader of Nyakabanda sector, Kigali city in which the list of Tutsi to be killed was released.
It is also alleged that the accused asked Col Hakizimana Edouard for guns that would be used to execute Tutsi in addition to having collaborated with Interahamwe and Imbonezamugambi of CDR.
He is alleged to have been one of the shareholders of radio RTLM that spread hate speeches that incited killing of Tutsi.
Mugimba talks innocence
In reaction to the accusations, Mugimba explained that as a Rwandan fond of his country, he was moved by the mayhem that ravaged the country in 1994 genocide and that whoever got involved in it should receive heavy punishment to deter reoccurrence.
He as well requested similar heavy punishment for people inventing crimes and falsely accusing others of genocide. Mugimba explained that he left his home on 8th April 1994 and fled to Kiyovu where he felt secure after which he went to Gisenyi on 12th April, denying that he did not know about raids that followed the meeting which the prosecution is accusing him of chairing.
He also denied to have held talk shows at Radio Television Libre de Milles Collines (RTLM) adding that its 50 founders are known but accepted to having had shares in it.
Mugimba explained that becoming the executive secretary of CDR doesn’t make him a criminal. He requested to be released because he has been in jail for three years yet no one accused him of any wrong-doing during Gacaca courts.
Iyamuremye said ‘witnesses are manipulated’
Iyamuremye Jean Claude known as Nzinga, was 18 years old during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. The prosecution accuses him of joining people that hunted Bayingana Dismas on 7th April 1994 in Kicukiro and burnt his house.
He is also alleged to have joined gangs that targeted to kill Tutsi that fled to ETO Kicukiro and in Nyanza.
One of the witnesses accuses Iyamuremye of having killed one of his uncles.
“He used a small lorry carrying Tutsi he pretended to be rescuing. He, however, took them at ETO to be killed,’’ said one witness.
Iyamuremye denied accusations saying he was too affected by the genocide since he lost 30 relatives.
“I didn’t know such hatred exists; people making such false accusations…,”he said.
Iyamuremye said that witnesses were manipulated.
The decision on bail application for both suspects is expected to be read today.
- Jean Baptiste Mugimba and Jean Claude Iyamuremye in court yesterday