ICC aims at Mbarushimana

14 September 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court will try to convince judges that there is enough proof to start a trial against one of the driving forces behind a villainous Hutu militia, the FDLR. From Friday, they will present press releases, emails and intercepts of phone calls to show that Callixte Mbarushimana participated in a criminal plan to “create a humanitarian catastrophe” in eastern Congo. 

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo and his team believe that in 2009 Mbarushimana “directed or helped to direct” a terror campaign of murder, rape and torture of Congolese civilians from his home in Paris. The attacks perpetrated by FDLR militiamen resulted in at least 384 deaths, 135 cases of sexual violence, 521 abductions and 38 cases of torture.

Mbarushimana - also known as ‘Maneza’ - denies involvement in any crime. His lawyer will try to refute five counts of crimes against humanity and six war crimes. Nick Kaufman maintains there is no evidence to support the charges, saying the prosecutor’s case mainly relies on reports from human rights organisations “whose sources are unverified and unreliable”.

Atrocities

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