Genocide suspect Kayishema hearing adjourned, additional charges likely

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A South African court on Friday, June 2, adjourned the hearing in the trial of Fulgence Kayishema, one of the most sought-after suspects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda who was arrestded on May 24 in South Africa.

The hearing was adjourned to June 9, pending the prosecution’s review of files and the unveiling of a more comprehensive charge sheet.

On Friday, Kayishema made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, his second appearance since his arrest.

Apart from charges related to the genocide, he is also facing allegations of fraud and breaking local immigration laws. The South African National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) stated that additional charges are likely to be brought against him.

“What we are talking about at the moment, is local charges, then it will also depend on the two lever arch files which have more charges against him. Then it will depend on what comes out of those,” said Eric Ntabazalila, the spokesperson of NPA.

Kayishema, 63, is a key suspect in the Genocide against the Tutsi and was arrested on May 24, at a grape farm in the small winelands’ town of Paarl, 60 kilometres north of Cape Town, after evading justice for nearly three decades.

As the former head of the genocidal government’s judicial police in the former Kibuye prefecture, Kayishema is accused of playing a pivotal role in planning and executing the killings of approximately 2,000 Tutsi at Nyange Catholic Church during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In a past interview with The New Times, The National Public Prosecution Authority, spokesperson, Faustin Nkusi, explained that once the South African court process concludes, Kayishema will first be transferred to Arusha, Tanzania, to the United Nations’ International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).

Subsequently, he is expected to be extradited to Rwanda.

In 2012, the Chief Prosecutor of the then International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) transferred Kayishema’s file to Rwanda as part of the court’s completion strategy.

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