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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 17:38 UK

Dutch hear Rwandan genocide case

Rwanda genocide survivor praying next to skulls (file picture)
Some 800,000 people died in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda

A Rwandan Hutu, Joseph Mpambara, has pleaded not guilty before a Dutch court to charges of rape and murder during the Rwandan genocide 14 years ago.

Prosecutors say he took part in the massacre of Tutsis at a church complex and the hacking to death of seven people dragged out of an ambulance.

He was living in the Netherlands when he was arrested in 2006.

He is being tried under a Dutch law that allows the prosecution of war crimes committed overseas.

Some 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militias in just 100 days in 1994.

Mr Mpambara, 40, is accused of being a member of the Interahamwe militia.

His case came to the attention of Dutch authorities after his 1998 application for asylum was turned down.

The UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was set up in 1997 to try the most high-profile genocide cases.

Prosecution spokesman Wim de Bruin said the ICTR, under pressure to finish its cases by the end of the year, had asked the Netherlands to take on this case, Reuters news agency reports.



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