Ex-Rwanda official on trial in Belgium over 1994 genocide

Tuesday November 5 2019

fab

Rwandan Fabien Neretse is pictured in front of the Palace of Justice during the first day of his trial in Brussels, on November 4, 2019. Neretse has also charged with involvement in killings in the Gitaram and Ruhengeri districts, where the agricultural engineer had founded a school. PHOTO | JOHN THYS | AFP 

By AFP

A former senior Rwandan official went on trial in Belgium on Monday accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in his country.

Friends and relatives of the alleged victims of 71-year-old Fabien Neretse were present as he arrived at the Brussels court, leaning on a crutch.

For the first time in a Belgian case, Neretse is explicitly charged with "genocide" over 13 alleged murders between April and July 1994.

He was arrested in France in 2011, but was not in detention and presented himself at court. He denies all charges.

"I'm innocent," he declared to journalists outside the court.

Neretse did not immediately appear in the dock, as Monday's hearing focused on jury selection. The first full hearing is to take place on Thursday.