Belgium arrests Rwanda genocide suspect
28 July 2004
BRUSSELS – A man wanted for genocide crimes in Rwanda has been arrested in Belgium, it emerged on Wednesday.
Ephrem Nkezabera, 52, has been on the run from Rwandan and international authorities for his connection to the 1994 massacres in the central African country.
The arrest in June of Rwanda’s 67th most wanted man, a former banker, has been kept under wraps until Wednesday
The discovery of the suspected war criminal, who was hiding with his son in Brussels, draws Belgium deeper into the pursuit of those responsible for the atrocities of ten years ago.
It is the third such case handed over to Belgian federal prosecutors.
Judge Damien Vandermeersch has put Nkezabera in custody for serious violations against international humanitarian law and he is currently being held in Brussels’ Forest prison.
Nkezabera had taken refuge with his son since the start of 2004, having fled Kigali in 1994 and given the authorities the slip in Zaire.
He stands accused of supplying arms used for massacring large sections of the population.
Until spring 1994, Nkezabera managed the Commercial Bank of Rwanda and he also played a central role at the heart of the Interahamwe militia.
In the summer of 1996, the Rwandan authorities said he was number 67 on their list of most wanted suspects.
Belgian radio presenter, Georges Ruggiu, who ran the vilified Radio Mille Collines, ranked 92 on this list.
Nkezabera is expected to face charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity at the international tribunal in Arusha or more probably in Belgium.
The Nkezabera case means Belgium could soon be handling three major Rwandan war crimes trails.
One of the others is set to begin in early 2005 when Etienned Nzabonimana and Samuel Ndashikirwa, two influential businessmen from Kibungo, will answer accusations that they provided transport and machetes to genocidal militia.
The second major trial will be of the ex-commander in charge of the Kigali Camp, Bernard Ntuyahaga.
He will stand trial for the murder of ten Belgian soldiers.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news