Bishop pleads innocence

Published June 1, 2001

Bishop Samuel Musabyimana

Arusha, Tanzania

Samuel Musabyimana, an Anglican bishop formerly with the Church of Rwanda, has pleaded not guilty to a range of genocide charges brought against him before the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda.

Bishop Musabyimana is charged with genocide or complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.

The indictment against him alleges that during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when he was bishop of Shyogwe, a centrally located diocese in the Gitarama region, he ordered Tutsi refugees to publicly register themselves by ethnic group. This act guaranteed their deaths with his knowledge at the hands of soldiers and militia, the charges say.

Bishop Musabyimana complained bitterly about his arrest on April 26 by Kenyan police. No warrant was shown, he said, and his residence was searched, family belongings were removed and his office was ransacked with no inventory taken. Both the bishop’s court-appointed attorney and his Kenyan lawyer complained in Nairobi High court that the arrest was illegal and violated ICTR rules.

Bishop Musabyimana said that he is innocent and that his Christian colleagues should be assured that “there is no blood on my hands.”


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