There are a couple of interesting facts about the trial of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko:
- She is the first woman ever charged with genocide by an international court. I reported on Agnes Ntamabyariro earlier in the year but of course, she was tried and convicted by the court in Kigali. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko is being charged by the ICTR in Tanzania.
- She is also the first woman to be charged with incitement to rape.
- She remains the only woman still detained by the ICTR.
- Her trial began in 2001 and it is the longest ICTR trial so far.
- She is on trial with her son, Shalom Ntahobali, who at 39 is the court's youngest detainee.
"Instead of protecting the families as her ministry stipulates, she decided to exterminate the families," prosecutor Holo Makwaia of the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said of former family minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. - AFP
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was formerly the minister for the family and women's empowerment in Butare. The prosecutors have asked for life sentences to be imposed on Nyiramasuhuko and her co-defendants.
"The prosecutor respectfully submits that the appropriate sentence in this case is imprisonment for the remainder of their lives," prosecutor Holo Makwaia said in her closing arguments. Makwaia argued that the accused had "the intent to destroy in whole or in part the Tutsi ethnic group in Butare." - AFP
If convicted, then Nyiramasuhuko is guilty of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. I cannot think of a worse human being than a woman that incites men to rape other women. I realise that she has the right to a defence but I have to wonder about the type of woman that would defend a woman like this. Defence council Nicole Bergevin has claimed that the prosecution have failed to prove their case and to prove her client's guilt. Defence begin their presentations today.