Rwanda ex-military officer denies responsibility for 1994 killings in Belgian trial

[JURIST] Bernard Ntuyahaga [TrialWatch profile], a former Rwandan army major, denied at trial Monday any involvement in the 1994 murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and the Rwandan prime minister they were charged with protecting. Ntuyahaga said he was being used as a scapegoat, that he was simply "at the bad place at the bad moment." The prosecution argues that he was in charge of taking the peacekeepers and prime minister to the place where they would later be beaten and murdered.

Ntuyahaga's trial began last week [JURIST report]. He is charged with 16 counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder stemming from the deaths, which took place during the first weeks of the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Ntuyahaga was extradited to Tanzania in 1998 to face genocide and war crimes charges [indictment, PDF] arising from the same incident, but the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda dropped all charges [decision text] in 1999. Ntuyahaga then voluntarily surrendered himself to Belgian authorities in 2004 after a prolonged extradition attempt. Reuters has more.

 

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