One of Rwandan politicians wanted for his alleged role in the genocide of ethnic Tutsi and Hutus population died 20 years ago, the international tribunal announced on Friday.
The remains of Augustin Bizimana, former Rwandan defense minister wanted for his role in the 1994 genocide, have been identified in a grave in the Republic of Congo, said UN Prosecutor Serge Brammertz.
In a statement, Brammertz, the prosecutor of the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), said Bizimana had died in 2000.
He had been indicted on 13 counts, including genocide, murder, and rape.
His remains from a grave in Pointe Noire were identified by DNA testing late last year, according to the statement.
“Subsequent investigations and comparative DNA analysis over the last several months ruled out that the remains were those of any other person,” it said.
Bizimana was accused of engineering killing former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, 10 Belgian UN peacekeepers, and Tutsi civilians in five Rwandan regions.
Jean Bosco Siboyintore, of Rwanda’s genocide tracking unit, expressed dismay that the former defense minister could not be held accountable for his crimes.
Prosecutors conducted an elaborate investigation to confirm the death of Bizimana because many genocide suspects had been posting bogus death announcements to escape justice, said Siboyintore.
The announcement of Bizimana’s death comes days after the arrest of another genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga in Paris. He had allegedly financed the genocide and was evading arrest for more than two decades.
MICT with its offices in Arusha, Tanzania, and The Hague, Netherlands had replaced the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda which wound up in 2015 after trying 50 cases.
It continues to pursue Protais Mpiranya, the former commander of the Rwandan Armed Forces and five other Rwandan suspects, Brammertz said. Mpiranya is blamed for the killing of top Rwandan politicians during the genocide.
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