The journalist Dominique Makeli, acquitted on 5 October 2008 of crimes
of genocide and crimes against humanity, will be retried in revision by
the same semi-traditional gacaca court of the Rugenge sector, Kigali, according to the news agency Hirondelle.
"The recourse for revision was accepted, but we will hear only new witnesses", indicated a judge who requested for anonymity. The trial date was yet to be fixed.
The re-trial was requested by two plaintiffs, Samuel Nduwumwe and Richard Rango, who affirm never had had the occasion to be heard in the first instance trial. "We were never advised of this trial, and, thus we did not have the occasion to give our testimonies to the prosecution", they claimed, in a letter addressed to the president of the gacaca court of Rugenge.
After the acquittal of the journalist, certain victims had launched an appeal, notably denouncing "irregularities in the procedure and the partiality of the judges".
At the time of the first appeal hearing, on 23 December, the court, presided by Jean Nyamurinda, had judged the recourse to be receivable. But before entering the basis of the case, it had asked that the appellant party to present its evidence in writing.
Intrigued by this requirement, the appellants changed their tactic. "We understood that they (judges) laid a trap to be able to prepare the defence with the defendant, as that had been the case in first instance.
We thus choose a recourse in revision, with new testimonies and new evidence", hinted to Hirondelle Agency Jean Marie Vianney Karangwa, who will testify against the journalist.
According to the indictment, Dominique Makeli is prosecuted for incitement to commit genocide through the national radio, planning meetings of the genocide and attacks against Tutsis in the Rugenge sector, complicity in the murder of Tutsis in Kabgayi,central Rwanda.
For the count of incitement to commit genocide, witnesses are basing themselves on a show directed by the journalist in 1994. At his release, in October, Makeli had spent nearly 14 years in detention.
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