Two Rwandans on trial in Brussels for genocide

The trial of two former Rwandan officials on charges of “war crimes” and “genocide” committed in 1994 opened in Brussels on Monday October 9 without one of the defendants, who has been hospitalized for three days.
The health of 76-year-old Pierre Basabosé, one of the alleged financiers of the Interahamwe militia (Hutu extremists) in Kigali, was at the heart of the debates at the opening of the hearing. For several months now, his lawyer Jean Flamme has been arguing that Basabosé’s “dementia syndrome” prevents him from taking part in the trial.
He had already been dismissed on this point in June, but on Monday demanded a new psychiatric examination of his client. However, the lawyer agreed to represent Mr. Basabosé, allowing the proceedings to continue without him. The first day of the hearing was devoted to the reading of the indictment.
This is the sixth assize trial in Belgium relating to the Tutsi genocide perpetrated in Rwanda nearly thirty years ago. The hearing, scheduled to last two months, concerns two personalities close to the former Habyarimana presidential couple: Pierre Basabosé and 65-year-old Séraphin Twahirwa.
Both had sought refuge in Belgium, Rwanda’s former colonial power and home to a large Rwandan community. They were arrested there in September 2020. Targeted by arrest warrants issued in Rwanda, they were also on the radar of the Belgian public prosecutor’s office, alerted by immigration services to their suspicious profile.

About Geraldine Boechat 2734 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia