A former Commander of the Cyangugu Barracks of the Rwanda Armed Forces, Lieutenant Samuel lmanishimwe today pleaded not guilty to eight counts charging him with participation in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The accused entered the plea during his initial appearance before Trial Chamber 2.
Lt. Imanishimwe is charged with Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity and Serious Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II thereto.
The accused, who is jointly charged with two others who are yet to be arrested, was born in Nyamitaba, Masisi region, in the now Democratic Republic of Congo. His parents were from Nkuli commune, Ruhengeri Prefecture in Rwanda.
Irnanishimwe is accused of ordering the execution of some refugees who were arrested and taken to the Cyangugu Barracks. He is also alleged, with others, to have “selected names from pre-established lists of the refugees who were inside the stadium, mostly Tutsis and some Hutus in the opposition. These refugees were then arrested and later executed in a place called Gatandara."
The accused, with others, is also said to have escorted refugees to Kamarampaka stadium where they were guarded by gendarmes. It is alleged that those who attempted to leave the stadium were either forced back by the gendarmes or executed by the lnterahamwe and the gendarmes who were outside the stadium. Also during this period, the lnterahamwe could enter the stadium to abduct refugees and execute them.
Lt. Imanishimwe, the indictment states, is said to have been responsible for killing and/or causing bodily or mental harm to members of the Tutsi population; murdering civilians; exterminating civilians; imprisoning civilians; torturing civilians; and causing violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons.
The trial of the accused, who is defended by Counsel Marie Louise Mbida from Cameroon, will start at a later date to be fixed by the Tribunal.
Meanwhile, the joint trial of Clement Kayishema and Obed Ruzindana has been postponed to 9 February 1998 after the Defence finished cross examining an expert witness, Dr. Nizam Perwani, a Forensic Pathologist, who told the court about the results of mass exhumation undertaken at graves in Rwanda following the genocide.