Friday, December 23, 2005


Canal body 'was Rwandan minister'.

Uwilingiyimana was charged over his alleged role in the 1994 genocide.
A decomposed body found in a canal in Brussels is that of a Rwandan former minister facing charges of genocide, the Belgian justice ministry has said. Juvenal Uwilingiyimana, 54, a former minister for parks, went missing from his home in the city on 21 November. Eight days later, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania indicted him for his alleged part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 100 days. The charges against Mr Uwilingiyimana included genocide, incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and murder.
A badly decomposed, naked body was spotted on 17 December in the central Brussels-Charleroi canal by a passer-by. Belgian lawyer Sven Mary said he had been informed by the investigating magistrate that the body was that of his client, Mr Uwilingiyimana.
"What complicates things is that we have not been given any information on the cause of death. We would like light shed on this," he told the AFP news agency. The former minister had met several times with officials from the ICTR in the three weeks before he disappeared from his home in the Brussels suburb of Anderlecht. ICTR chief investigator Stephen Rapp said the last such meeting had taken place three days before Mr Uwilingiyimana disappeared.
Early in November, a letter purportedly written by Mr Uwilingiyimana and published on the internet accused the ICTR of trying to pressure him into incriminating other high-ranking officials in the former Rwandan Hutu regime.
The ICTR has convicted 22 people in connection with the genocide.



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