Protais Zigiranyirazo, a business man and brother-in-law of the Rwandan former President Juvénal Habyarimana, pleaded not guilty to all five charges against him today when he made a further initial appearance before Judge Denis C. M. Byron of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Zigiranyirazo is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, or complicity to genocide as an alternative to the charge of genocide, and extermination and murder as crimes against humanity.
Zigiranyirazo made the further initial appearance to enter his plea on the amended indictment of 5 November 2003. In the initial indictment, Zigiranyirazo was charged with extermination and murder as crimes against humanity to which he pleaded not guilty on 10 October 2001.
Zigiranyirazo, alias Mr. ‘Z’, was born in 1938 in Giciye commune, Gisenyi préfecture, in northern Rwanda. Zigiranyirazo served in the second Mouvement Républicain National pour le Dévelopment et la Démocratie (MRND) party government of Habyarimana, as préfet of Ruhengeri préfecture from 1974 to 1989. He was also a businessman.
Zigiranyirazo was arrested in Brussels, Belgium on 26 July 2001. He was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania on 3 October 2001.