A Swedish court in Stockholm has sent a team of prosecutors and defense lawyers to Rwanda to physically visit the scenes of crime to obtain concrete evidence and data required in the case of Clever Berinkindi being tried for genocide crimes committed in 1994.
In April 1994, genocide against ethnic Tutsi claimed over a million lives in Rwanda.
A fact file from prosecution said: he was one of the leaders in attacks on a municipal building in the municipality of Muyira and a nearby school that killed thousands. Some of the victims were buried alive, while others were killed with guns, spears, clubs and machetes it added.
The Rwanda Patriotic Front rebels led by Paul Kagame stopped the genocide and defeated the rogue regime.
Berinkindi like many other perpetrators fled the country to various destinations across the world and have remained atlarge. Rwanda has since issued indictments to these perpetrators and or requested countries hosting them to try them under their court system.
The Stockholm court opened trial of Berinkindi 60, accused of participating in the massacre that left thousands of Tutsi in Nyanza District, Southern Rwanda.
Berinkindi has been in custody for a year. He has also been convicted in Rwanda in absentia, but the trial is being held at the Stockholm district court due to his Swedish citizenship.
While Berinkindi is accused of murder, incitement to murder, attempted murder and abduction, he denies all charges. His defense team claims that witnesses could have mistaken him for a deceased brother who was complicit in the events.
It is in this regard that the Stockholm court has sent a team of prosecutors and defense lawyers to visit the scene of crime in Rwanda. The team, led by Prosecutor Tora Holst visited Nyamiyaga centre-which is Berinkindi’s centre of crimes during the genocide.
Rwanda has termed a ‘a good step in judicial process’.
“The arrival of the team to tour the scene of crimes committed by Berinkindi is a crucial step and a symbol of proper judicial process by Sweden,” Allain Mukurarinda, spokesperson of the national public prosecution authority told KT Press.
They compiled first-hand information and heard testimonies. “We shall wait for the outcome of their findings…but this is a good step ahead,” Mukurarinda told KT Press.
Rwanda’s Chief Justice, Sam Rugege warned earlier in April that all genocide fugitives will be brought to book no matter how long it takes.