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Former prefect of Cyangugu pleads not guilty to seven counts on initial appearance

Emmanuel Bagambiki, former Prefect of Cyangugu, today pleaded not guilty to seven counts charging him with Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. The plea was entered during his initial appearance before Trial Chamber 2 composed of Judges William Sekule, presiding, Yakov Ostrovsky and Tafazzal Khan.

Bagambiki is specifically charged with six counts of Genocide, Complicity in Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (murder, imprisoning and exterminating civilians). He is jointly charged with others in the seventh count of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide.

The accused is alleged to have been responsible for killing and causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the Tutsi population, with intent to destroy in whole or in part, an ethnic or racial group in Cyangugu prefecture, Rwanda in 1994. He is accused of publicly expressing anti-Tutsi sentiments and preparing lists of people to eliminate - mostly Tutsis and some Hutus in the opposition. These lists were given to soldiers and Interahamwe militiamen with orders to arrest and kill the persons whose names were listed.

Bagambiki, and one Lt. Samuel Imanishimwe, are alleged to have ordered refugees who had sought refuge at Cyangugu Cathedral be moved to Cyangugu Stadium, where the accused selected names from pre-established lists of the refugees. Those selected were later killed. On several occasions in April 1994, the accused is alleged to have ordered soldiers and the Interahamwe to kill members of the Tutsi population. He is also accused of failing or refusing to assist those whose lives were in danger and who asked for his help, particularly in Gatare commune, where Tutsis were massacred.

Bagambiki was born in 1948 in Cyangugu prefecture, Rwanda. He was arrested on 5 June 1998 in Lome, Togo and transferred to Arusha on 10 July 1998. He is defended by Counsel Vincent Lurquin from Belgium.

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