Jean-Baptiste Gatete, the former Mayor of Murambi Commune in Kibungo Prefecture, was transferred on 13 September 2002 from the Republic of Congo to the ICTR detention facility in Arusha. He was arrested on 11 September 2002 by the Congolese authorities acting on a warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 19 December 2000.
The indictment against Gatete contains ten counts charging him with Genocide, or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; crimes against humanity for extermination, murder persecution and rape; and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions.
Mr. Gatete, 49, despite his dismissal as Bourgmestre in 1993 amidst allegations that he persecuted Tutsis, continued to exercise authority over police, gendarmes, and civilian militias in Byumba and Kibungo Prefectures. In preparing the murderous campaign, Gatete is said to have recruited, organized, trained and armed Interahamwe militias for the purposes of attacks against the Tutsi.
During the genocide, Interahamwe militias under Gatete’s command allegedly directed the massacre of several thousand Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge in Mukarange, Rukara and Kiziguro churches. He also ordered civilian officials and ordinary citizens to join in hunting down and killing the Tutsi.
Duty Counsel will be assigned by the Registrar to represent Jean-Baptiste Gatete until he engages Counsel of his own or is assigned Counsel under the rules of the Tribunal. Mr. Gatete will make his initial appearance before a Judge of the Tribunal shortly.