Rwanda-Netherlands: Basebya goes back in custodyNews
On Thursday the 20th of December in The Hague, the Dutch judge decided to prolong the pre-arrest period in the case against Basebya until the verdict on the 1st of March 2013. Basebya is being charged with genocide crimes and had been temporarily released since June 2012.
On Thursday afternoon , the judge ruled that there were serious objections against the cessation of Basebya’s pre-arrest and added that the charges she was facing were serious offenses. ‘The question at stake at this moment is whether there are sufficient serious objections and serious offenses against the release of the suspect, and the court is conviced there are. The suspicions she is facing are serious and her release could bring about shock’, said the judge. He added that this is according to the Dutch criminal justice system.
‘In June we ended the remand because two years had been too long and there was great uncertainty about the course of the trail. It was unsure when the verdict would be and that’s why we interrupted the pre-arrest. In October this uncertainty was still present, as the trial had just started and there was no clearness on the probable duration. However, today, this uncertainty has been erased as we now have great certitude that the verdict will be issued on the 1st of March 2013.’
Basebya’s last word
Before this judgment, the court gave Basebya the opportunity to have the last word. In her speech, Basebya explained the impact that the Rwandan war has had on her life and repeatedly emphasized her innocence. ‘Horrible events have taken place in Rwanda and I sympathize with the victims. But I’m not responsible for what they are accusing me of, I’m not a genocidaire. Maybe they’re testifying about me out of grief or anger, but what they said are lies (…) I’m not a ‘mère generale’, a ‘commandante’ or a ‘dirigente’. I have no blood on my hands or on my conscience. I ask you to acquit me of all charges and give me my freedom.’
Basebya was arrested in June 2010 and spent two years in remand until June 2012, when the judge ordered for her temporarily release until the 20th of December. She is the first Dutch person to be charged with crimes of genocide by the Dutch Public Prosecutor. On the 1st of March 2013, the case will be closed and the judge will issue judgment on the demand of the Public Prosecutor for a life sentence. Apart from Basebya, there’s said to be another 15 Rwandans living in the Netherlands who have allegedly committed genocide crimes.