Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, former prefect of Kigali-ville, today pleaded not guilty to three counts charging him with genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity for murder. The accused entered the plea during his initial appearance before Judge Navanethem Pillay (South Africa), President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Renzaho, who was born in 1944 in Kigarama Commune, Kibungo Prefecture, is alleged both individually and acting in concert with others, to have caused many Tutsis to be killed at St. Famille Parish Church, St Paul’s Pastoral Centre, and at the Centre d’Education de Langues Africaines (CELA) in Kigali. At CELA he allegedly ordered the murder of approximately 100 persons in April 1994 and at St. Paul’s he allegedly ordered the murder of sixty Tutsi boys.
It is further alleged that the accused publicly incited Hutu civilians to kill Tutsis. For example, on or about 7 April 1994, he is alleged to have broadcast orders over Radio Rwanda to soldiers, gendarmes, militia, local citizens and demobilised soldiers to construct and man roadblocks for purposes of intercepting, identifying and killing Tutsis.
The court was told that the accused also sent Interahamwe militias to Nyarugenge commune to kill Tutsis and that one Andre Kameya, a journalist, was also killed pursuant to his written orders.
Renzaho was arrested on 29 September 2002 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha the following day. He was represented by duty counsel appointed by the Registrar until he appoints his own counsel or is assigned counsel in accordance with the Rules of the Tribunal.