Uwinkindi’s trial will go on despite the defendant’s refusal to speak
The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) confirms that the trial against the Genocide suspect Jean Uwinkindi will go on although the defendant has refused to answer the prosecution’s questions.
According to information from Hirondelle News Agency and confirmed by NPPA spokesperson Alain Mukurarinda, Uwinkindi has for the fourth time refused to answer questions from the prosecution of the high court in Kigali, where the former Pentecostal pastor in Kayenzi is attending the preliminary hearings of his trial for Genocide.
Mukurarinda explains that Uwinkindi refused to answer the questions from the prosecution saying that he “has the right to be silent” though the spokesperson notes that it would be better if the accused was commenting on the allegations against him.
“During the last meeting, he said it’s his right to be silent,” Mukurarinda said. “But nothing will prevent the proceedings to go on even though he may choose remaining silent in court, since we have a complete dossier.”
Mukurarinda also mentioned that there is a provided legal procedure handling such trials in case the accused person decides to be silent during the hearings.
Uwinkindi is accused of helping to organize and instruct extremist Hutu groups to kill Tutsis in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis; after allowing Tutsi women and children to seek refuge in his church, he then allegedly ordered their execution.
Aged 61, Uwinkindi was arrested on June 30, 2010 in Uganda and transferred to the seat of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha two days later. On April 19, he was transferred to Rwanda as the first genocide suspect deported from the tribunal to be tried in domestic courts.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled to resume on August 27.