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Nyabimata trial begins, 84 seek damages from MRCD/FLN

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 17 February, 2021 13:29:49PM
Nyabimata trial begins, 84 seek damages from MRCD/FLN

The trial of 21 people suspected of being behind the series of terror attacks on Rwandan territory started Wednesday morning at the Supreme Court chambers.

The case is being heard by judges from the High Court Chamber for International and Cross-Border Crimes, but used the Supreme Court chambers which have bigger space to accommodate all parties in the case. 

The trial involves Paul RusesabaginaCallixte Nsabimana alias Sankara, and Herman Nsengimana , who are all present in court. 

Also among the suspects is Angeline Mukandutiye, who is already serving a life sentence by a Gacaca court for her role in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

She is the only woman among the suspects.

Through an outfit called MRCD and its militia wing, FLN, the group is being accused of conspiring to launch attacks on Rwandan territory in which at least nine people were killed, others maimed and property destroyed.

The terror activities were committed between 2018 and 2019. 

Mukandutiye, who returned to Rwanda in 2019 following the military offensive by DR Congo armed forces, was a senior leader within FLN.

She served as commissioner in charge of recruitment of female fighters.

The suspects face a litany of charges linked to terrorism. 

This is the first time the case is being heard after it was enjoined by prosecution to have a single trial of all people linked to the attacks in south-western Rwanda.

The case had started with the trial of Nsabimana, who was arrested in early 2019. 

The trial has also attracted civil parties representing those seeking damages from the terror activities. At least 84 people are seeking damages.

Appearing before the three judges hearing the case, Rusesabagina, who was the president of MRCD, said that he wanted the court record to be changed to say that he was not Rwandan but Belgian.

He addressed the court in Kinyarwanda, but the presiding judge asked the court registrar to note the concern.

Rusesabagina, who was arrested last year, faces nine charges; formation of an irregular armed group, membership of a terrorist group, financing terrorism, murder as an act of terrorism, abduction as an act of terrorism and armed robbery as an act of terrorism.

Other charges he faces are arson as an act of terrorism, attempted murder as an act of terrorism and assault and battery as an act of terrorism.

List of suspects

  • Callixte Nsabimana (Sankara)
  • Herman Nsengimana
  • Paul Rusesabagina
  • Marc Nizeyimana
  • Cassien Bizimana (Paci)
  • Jean-Berchmas Matakamba
  • Emmanuel Shaban
  • Innocent Ntibiramira
  • Jean-Claude Byukusenge
  • Simeon Nikuzwe
  • Joseph Ntabanganyimana
  • Félicien Nsanzubukire
  • Anastase Munyaneza
  • Emmanuel Iyamuremye
  • Marcel Niyirora
  • Emmanuel Nshimiyimana
  • André Kwitonda
  • Théogène Hakizimana
  • Jean-Chrétien Ndagijimana
  • Angeline Mukandutiye
  • Jean-Damascène Nsabimana (Motard)

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