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Rwandan genocide suspects to appear before Belgium’s Crown Court

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Three Rwandan genocide suspects are due to appear before Belgium’s ‘Cour d’Assises’ [Crown Court] in Brussels in October 2019 in what has been dubbed a “fourth historic” trial by Belgian justice.

The Three are Fabien Neretse, 62, a former Rwandan coffee industry boss; Emmanuel Nkunduwimye and Ernest Gakwaya, both clergymen who are suspected of having been members of the genocidaires militias known as “interahamwe” (Those who fight together) very involved in the genocide against Tutsis in 1994.

Fabien Neretse is notably suspected of being involved in the murder of Claire Beckers, a Belgian who ran an ice cream shop in Kigali, her Tutsi husband, Isaih Bucyana and their daughter.

The couple and their daughter were killed in Kigali a few days after the start of the genocide on 9 April 1994.

Some 170 witnesses are due to testify at the trial, including dozens who have travelled from Rwanda.

The jury selection will take place on 21 October 2019, while the trial, expected to last several weeks, will start on the 24 October 2019, it said.

Belgium’s ‘Cour d’Assises’ has already sentenced two nuns, a University professor and Rwandan businessman in 2011.

Harsh sentences were also handed over by the Belgium justice to two traders in 2005 and a former senior officer of the defeated Rwanda Armed Forces in July 2007.

The senior officer, Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, is a Rwandan army officer who was sentenced to 20 years, including time-served, for his part in the murder of the peace-keeping troops, who were on UN duty in Rwanda at the beginning of the genocide.




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