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Suspected Rwandan genocide leader pleads not guilty

By Miriam Mannak     Oct 15, 2009 in World
Idelphonse Nizeyimana, a top suspect accused of planning, executing and participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, pleaded not guilty at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.
Nizeyimana, nicknamed the Butcher of Butare, was arrested last month in Uganda, after which he was transported to Arusha. Alleged of being one of the top four men who directed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, he faces charges of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, participating in crime against humanity.
It is alleged that 46-year-old Nizeyimana in the months before the genocide started in the first week of April 1994, he was responsible for the drawing up of hit lists of Tutsis and moderate Hutus that were to be eliminated.
He is also accused of ordering the killing of children, hospital patients, priests and even an elderly and revered African queen.
His "working terrain" was Butare, one of Rwanda's largest cities, hence his nickname.
"I am not guilty," the former Rwandan intelligence chief, said each time the four counts of war crimes charges was read out to him. A trial date will be set later.
Nizeyimana is the second high-profile genocide suspect to be arrested in the past two months.
Gregoire Ndahimana, former mayor of Kivumbu, appeared in court after being captured in August. Ndahimana allegedly ordered to gather members of the Tutsi community in a church Nyange.
On April 15, 1994, Ndahimana and two followers are accused of ordering an attack on the church and to kill everyone inside. Nearly 2,000 people died.
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