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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January, 2005, 14:02 GMT
Rwandan denies genocide charges
Rwanda genocide survivor, and caretaker, Emmanuel Murangira at a genocide memorial
Memories of the genocide remain fresh in Rwanda
Defence lawyers for the first woman to be charged with genocide at the international tribunal for Rwanda have begun presenting their case.

The ex-minister for women and the family, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, is standing trial with her son.

They are accused of organising the murder of Tutsis in Butare in the south-west, during the 1994 genocide.

The charges against them include inciting troops and militia to rape hundreds of women.

They deny the charges.

The long-delayed trial began in June 2001. She was first arrested in Kenya eight years ago.

Ms Nyiramasuhuko's defence lawyer told the court that the accusations were part of a smear campaign.

Almost 60 people are held in Arusha, suspected of masterminding and orchestrating the killings of an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The Rwandan government has accused the tribunal of being slow and inefficient.




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Lawyer Christopher Black on BBC Network Africa
"It's impossible for anyone to have a fair trial here"



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