Rwandan genocide suspect questions evidence
KIGALI — Rwandan ex-politician Leon Mugesera, who is on trial for incitement to genocide, on Tuesday questioned the authenticity of a recording in which he allegedly described Tutsis as “cockroaches”.
The audio, which is the prosecution’s only evidence against him, is of a 1992 speech in which Mugesera allegedly used a series of metaphors to call on fellow Hutus to kill their Tutsi countrymen.
The prosecution has argued the speech helped trigger the Rwandan genocide two years later in which an estimated 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, died.
“During my initial trial in Canada in 2005 … an expert in audio-video analysis from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered some anomalies in the speech,” Mugesera told the Kigali court.
“If the speech Rwanda sent to Canada is the same as what the prosecution has and if it’s a copy of the original … then it should be subjected to verification,” he added.
Mugesera was deported from Canada in January 2012 after 15 years of court battles and has already obtained a number of postponements in Rwanda.
In response, prosecutor Martin Ngoga said that “while appearing before the Canadian Supreme Court, Mugesera admitted the authenticity of the speech but he has now opted to change his version in the Rwandan courts”.
The hearing will continue Thursday.