Former Rwandan finance minister pleads not guilty to genocide: UN tribunal

Former Rwandan finance minister pleads not guilty to genocide: UN tribunal

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The former Minister of Finance in the interim government of Rwanda in 1994 today pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said in a statement issued at its Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Emmanuel Ndindabahizi entered the plea during his initial appearance before Judge Navanethem Pillay, President of the Tribunal. The 4 October indictment charges the suspect with committing genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity (extermination, murder and rape) during the events in Rwanda in 1994.

Specifically, he is alleged to have led a campaign against the Tutsi 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. 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, according to the indictment.

The accused was born in Kibuye Prefecture in 1950. He was arrested in Verviers, Belgium, last July and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 25 September.