Gacaca Court Testimony of KAREGEYA Isae


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Title:Gacaca Court Testimony of KAREGEYA Isae
Sequence:1 of 1
Abstract:The Gacaca Court testimony of KAREGAYA Isae (alternately referred to is Isaiah and Isaï), recorded by the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda. The proceedings are in Kinyarwanda, with English transcript and subtitles available.
Publisher:Kigali Genocide Memorial
Interview Date: 2007-06-06
Rights:IBUKA, Kigali, Rwanda
Subject Headings: Genocide--Rwanda--History--20th century
Gacaca Court Testimony
Tutsi (African people)--Crimes against--Rwanda
Rwanda--Ethnic Relations--History--20th Century
Rwanda--History--Civil War, 1994--Atrocities
Creator: National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions, Rwanda
Formats: mini-DV tape
Dock windowView English Translation
President: As usual, when we are to start any proceeding we must remember our loved ones that perished in the Genocide aiming at preventing it to happen again.
I think that’s an important thing that all of us should keep thinking about. I demand those wearing hats to remove them, and we'll observe 1 minute of silence.
We want the families of the victims. Including the family of Bicurisha Raphael, where are they? The family of Nyirarumondo, where are they? They haven’t yet reached here?
Emmanuel where are the people from the family of Ndejuru? Is Nyiramurinda Alfred here?
Mukagatare Dancile?
Nyirabakobwa Stephanie? Sterie I mean, where is she? Is she around? Beatrice?
Mukamana Marie? Is she also not here?
Aciel, those people you say are on their way coming, did you see them? They had received the notice of meeting, I suppose.
Aciel: Yes, they received the notice. They are on their way coming, we just talked on phone.
President: We are going to wait for them not more than fifteen minutes.
Is Candide here? Yes, she is up there. Mugenzi Alphonse? He is also down there, Ndayisaba, look for Mugenzi Alphonse, look for Candide.
Muvurende Meriane, Munyampeta Vital, ahh…… I can see him there.
People from the family of…..of Rwagasore.
People from Nyirarumondo's family, no one is here yet?
I can see those from Ndejuru's family, they are here.
Ok. Are there others that were mugged by Karegeya Esaie and Hategekimana Elias; I mean people from the family of Abatiragwa, I mean Mugenzi Alphonse, where is he?
Let us take a look on our witnesses. Yes, sit properly and be careful because that chair is broken. I don’t want it to cause any problem.
Mukagatare Dancille, Nyirabakobwa Asterie, where have they gone?
How about Mukashyaka Mediatrice and Mukamana Mary?
We are going to start now; we are proceeding with the cases of KAREGEYA Esaie and HATEGEKIMANA Elias.
I want the victims to first give us their identifications.
Is there any other victim in the audience? Come….What? I want it to be clear, you also?
Let the witnesses come; those are: Mukakayumba Jeanne, they are going to come one by one. Give all your identifications.
Mukashyaka please come forward.
Let’s start but before we start there are some Rules and codes that we’re going to tell you that we have to respect and follow. But before I start I request all the people having mobile phones, to first lock them.
The first: For whoever wants to speak, must request for that by raising his hand. The president is the one and only one to give speeches.
It’s important to start with those from far, elders and those who got difficulties of transport. Whoever is speaking must aim at speaking the whole truth. No one is allowed to interrupt our speaker. It’s forbidden to insult, to rush or terrify any one. It’s not good to take so long speaking in order to save time for others to come behind. No one should diverge and talk about a problem that is not on today’s agenda.
Today we are dealing with the cases of KAREGEYA Esaie and Hategekimana Elias. I want to ask both sides: victims and suspects, you see the Gacaca court in front of you. On the victims’ side, is there any one that you do not trust? On the suspects’ side?
Karegeya: There’s one member of the Gacaca court that I do not trust. That is Rwangomba.
President: Let me first explain to you. Article 10: There are some articles that clarify the type of people that should be kept aloof from the proceeding; the reasons of that or any problem that can occur. Can you explain for us why you don’t trust him?
Karegeya: Shortly after last time’s proceeding I was putting on a hat. It was not very clear as it was during evening hours, I had him telling vital: “Karegeya gave out some bribery to win”, "but there is no way he will escape next time, don’t matter that he has money or that he works on the radio” he continued. I do not feel then trusting him to the point of taking part in the proceeding of my case and that was spread out everywhere, later I heard people from here all saying that the court was corrupt.
President: You said a hat? What had happened?
Karegeya: I said that they didn’t realize that I was hearing what they said.
President: No, restart again in a clear way as you had said.
Karegeya: Shortly after last time’s proceeding, I heard Rwangombwa telling Vital that: “Karegeya got saved by bribery, there is no way he will escape next time." "That fact of money, or him working on the radio, he must even stop working on the radio" I heard him saying that so I do not trust him to the point of taking part in the proceeding of my case.
President: Anything else? Sit down. And you?
Hategekimana: In this case there is one of the people I mugged; He won’t be very clear.
President: For you, that’s the reason.
Hategekimana: Yes that is the reason.
President: Ok! Before analyzing that problem, I want us first to…… we are going for a time out, in a short time we will be back with the decisions about the problem.
Member of the audience No 1: One who said that he will not escape and yet it’s for all members of court to consider the verdict and deliberate, that can’t be a reason of……. only one judge??? As far as all of you sit together, discuss about the case and end up with decisions?
Member of the audience No 2: In reality, Is there any proof of that? He might not want him to take part in the proceeding of his case but nothing proving that the said that
President: yes
Vital: Thank you Mr. President, to tell the truth it’s my first time to see this young man, I do not ever think having talked to him before, a part from seeing him in this Gacaca court but it’s my first time to see him today. To mean that, I do not know anything about that.
Member of the audience No 3: He’s a judge among these ones, they have that right 100%, and what do they do? They have to analyze in secrecy the articles he holds on to refuse that. Stop giving articles saying this and that, isn’t it?
President: Yes, you got it right.
Before we continue there is a new comer... Does anyone have a problem about him? Good.
Article 71: The proceeding is to take place under a total silence; whichever is to speak must be polite in his manners and doing in the sight of the Gacaca court: whether Victims, suspects, witnesses and the audience, and I think that’s clear to everyone.
Attending Gacaca proceedings is an order to every Rwandese, whoever refuses to witness what they saw or heard, and who ever lies, let me highlight that, and whoever lies in his testimony is sued by the Gacaca court. Once one is guilty, he is sentenced from a three months to six months imprisonment. If this is done for a second time the guilty person is sentenced to an imprisonment from six months to a year. He is considered as one who refused to witness about something they know or saw. Whoever it’s revealed that he had facts he knows about any case that others exposed, yet he kept quiet and said none about that, him also is sentenced to the punishment lighted above.
I want to request the witnesses, before starting the proceeding of this case, to be kept in the background. I request the local defence, take Mukakayumba Jeanne and Mukagatare Dancile, I want you to keep them separated.
Nyirabakobwa Sterie, Mukashyaka Mediatrice, and Mukamana Marie. Where is Marie? You also can go.
Is Manasse here?
Hussein is here? We are starting the proceeding of the case itself.
About the case of Gasasira Aciel this is what he wrote:
Gasasira Aciel Songwe cell, Gahana district. 17th / May / 2007. Subject: Appeal against the judgment of the 16th/05/2007. I'm appealing for Karegeya Isaie. Mr. President of the appealing court, I’m here by writing this letter to you appealing for that case because I was not satisfied and happy with the decisions of the court. Particularly the case of Karegeya Isaie. These are the reasons: The first: Karegeya played part in the death of my family. They had chased them from Gahana in a meeting that was organized and led by Munyemana, Munyampundu and Kandaguye.
Another thing, we did not consider the evidences given before. Those articles are clear. Karegeya stand up. Karegeya Isaï, he is a teacher, his father is Kayinamura and his mother is Nyirababirigi, he is Rwandese by nationality. Is there anything that you want to add on your identification?
Karegeya: I’m not a teacher, you said am a teacher but am not a teacher
President: You are not a teacher?
Karegeya: Yes
President: You were a teacher by that time?
Karegeya: I was a teacher by that time
President: Karegeya Isaï, in April 1994 he joined malicious crowds that killed and ransacked; he participated in the crowd attack that killed Ndejuru, he was on the road block, He ransacked Ndejuru’s house and Bacurisha’s, he played part in the death of.., the death of Muyenzi. Muyenzi Kadaffi. Those are the crimes that he is accused of.
Member of the audience No 4: The crowd attack came from Munyandamutsa’s because people from Kinazi had refused to attack us. It included Michel, their father, this Karegeya, Elias, Hanika; they were very many and also people from the market joined them. Even Tembasi was among them
President: TEMBASI, is he around?
Member of the audience No 5: Tembasi is the one who opened for me when I was going out.
President: Hold on….Tembasi? Let’s take a look on his report where he admitted his guilty
President (reading): To: The president of the Gacaca court of Gahana. Subject: Admitting my guilty and sending my apology Mr. President, I am here by writing to you to clarify the part I played during the 1994 Genocide and ask for forgiveness.
First, I admit having participated in the night securing in Kabere at Bavugiriza Francois’s home. The day that followed the Genocide start all men were ordered to participate in the night securing me I joined the one at Francois’s. I spent there one, two nights because I permuted with my young brother Elia.., he is Elias. Others that participated in that night securing are Francois, Manace, Saritana Budengeri, Welars, Nyamutera; Buryeburye and John. Me, I couldn’t work later than 8.00 pm and then go to sleep in the house at Bacurisha’s.
Secondly: Testimony about the death of Nyirimbabazi. It was around 3 pm. I was at Kamanga where I had gone to bring a tree then I heard a lot of noise of the people that were there, they were at Kambari’s home, at the gate shouting. I then carried the tree and went to see what was happening. When I reached near the banana plantation I looked besides the coffee plantation where Nyirimbabazi was grassing her cows, I saw Nyirimbabazi lying down in the road leading to Munyakazi’s house. Rwampabuka was standing there with a log. Others that I saw there are Sekabwa and Mpambara from Gihara, because of the fright that was developed in me, I immediately left the place and went home. I did not recognize other people that were there.
Thirdly: I admit to have helped my parents to carry cassava from Nyirimbazi’s house. When people were uprooting Nyirimbazis’ cassava, my mother was also among them. I took two medium baskets. Others that uprooted the cassava are BereKimasi, Nshimiye from the Stephens’. Yeah, Nshimiye from Stephens’. And Judith.
Towards the end of April, I left our district. The major of the district of that time, Rukeribuga, found me home and told me that they needed people that completed their Secondary studies to join the military Academy. And that I was also to go.
The school started at Butare, in Nyanza then they took us to Kigeme that’s where I dodged the school and came back at Sogwe, in the first days of August. Your Excellency, Mr. President after all this clarified above, I apologize and ask for Forgiveness to God, to the Government of Rwanda and to all Rwandese particularly the victims and I accept to repay the cassava I carried. The one reporting and admitting guilty Karegeya Isaie.
President: Isaï, I read the letter of appeal of Gasasira Aciel, you heard it.
Let us start with the first point of his appeal. That Karegeya Isaiah played part in the death of my family; they had chased them from Gihana in a meeting that was organized and led by Munyemana, Munyampundu and Kandagaye. I think that we did not read this in your report, we did not see this. So, explain and tell us about this malicious crowd that chased the family of Gasasira.
Karegeya: Mr. President as you can see by your own, these are lies. This is a new case it’s not an appeal, it’s a new case, appealing means that the case was once proceeded and one was not satisfied with the decisions, they then appeal. This is new, it’s not included in the crimes that I was accused of before. You can see that by your own. Secondly I can tell you that Gasasira was present in the Judgment, he did not raise that. It’s not even clear.
President: Go slowly by slowly, hold on…You are saying that this is a new case raised in the appealing court yet it was not declared in the district court?
Karegeya: Yes, and I ask the court no to consider the appeal
Gacaca court panel member: You said it’s a new case raised now? Raised in the appeal?
Karegeya: Gasasira was there and he did not raise that.
President: I’m asking Gasasira Aciel,
Gasasira: It’s not a new case, if you do remember or even you can check in the note book, it’s there, my wife declared that, she declared that as a witness; he explained how the crowd chased them from Gahana. When they reached in the corner, this Karegeya came on a bike and turned in front of them. Butera from the Sekabwas’ had just told them that the crowd was at Arête [Bus stop]. “They are going to kill you” he told them. They then Turned behind Sekabwa’s house and took the way leading to Rugano. Then after seems like Karegeya turned in front of them and went to report them to the crowd that was at the Bus stop and they stopped them there. It was declared and…,
President: Hold on before you go that far, who was leading the crowd attack?
Gasasira: The malicious crowd that killed them?
President: Yes? The crowd that Karegeya told that was at the Bus stop?
Gasasira: it included Sibomana Aciel,
President: Sibomana Aciel?
Gasasira: They passed by me in the forest and met that family of mine there at Rugano, near Gatali’s home.
President: You were telling us people that composed that malicious crowd. Who was leading the crowd?
Gasasira: It included Sibomana Aciel
President: Hold on…
Gasasira: Buhoro from the Simons’ and his young brother Alphonse. One guy called Ndayisaba from the family of Aloys Ndayisaba. And another sibling to Fenias from Gasaka; Hafashimana. I think Fenias was also there.
President: Isn’t Fenias among the people that were recently released?
Gasasira: Yes. Those are the people I can remember.
President: Who is the Alphonse that you talked about? Fenias and Alphonse? Are there others that you want to tell us, or you have finished? The bicycle they talked about that you had…..
Karegeya: That bike was never there, I was not even there, you know that when that testimony was given, even though he said that this is the case, but when giving the testimony she said that it is the time when Bugesera citizens were taking refugee, “I asked them how the situation was I Bugesera “ she said.
Me I explained that when they were running taking refugee, when Inkotanyi (FPR Soldiers) reached Bugesera, I was at Nyanza when FPR soldiers conquered Bugesera. There in Christ Roi (a secondary school). If an investigation was held, it can be clear that there in Christ Roi, that’s where Esm (military academy) was. In the last proceeding, soldiers that saw me there testified that. I’m hereby telling you that what they said are lies to make me imprisoned.
President: I want to ask Aciel, I want you to help us, where was Karegeya coming from on that bicycle?
Gasasira: Thank you Mr. President, Here at the bus stoop there was a tight road block. He was coming from the bus stop just touring, he then met those people running in the corner near Sekabwa’s home. This is to mean that he was free to tour up and down; He came on his bike from the bus stop where the tight roadblock was. Mr. President, what I want to add on, what he is saying that he was in the military academy, ESM was never at Nyanza. I want to tell you that they could go to learn how to use guns just for one or two days. There was no military academy; During the Genocide as you might know one could go to learn how to use guns and then come back to put it into practice. One could not exceed two or three days.All people here present know that, saying that he joined the military academy (ESM), at Butare then to Kigeme, that did not happen.
President: Elaborate ….
Karegeya: Thank you Mr. president; I, for another time, ask the court to carry out an investigation to see if the military Academy was never in Christ Roi, and if you find out that that school was never there, sentence me to any punishment.
President: When did it move to there?
Karegeya: The school moved in the first days of June! The war was becoming more and more serious in Kigali. The school stayed there for not a longtime, as I said when FPR soldiers conquered Bugesera, the school moved to Kigeme. You carryout a follow up and if you find out that ESM was never at Nyanza, your Excellency, I will then be a loser. Another thing, during last Wednesday’s proceeding the suspects declared how it all went with that attack. They did not declare anywhere that it’s me who reported those people. Those things happened in the last proceedings.
Member of the audience No 4: He says that he was in ESM, on 14/05/ they attacked Rwagasore’s home, After they killed Nyirarumondo, they killed the Ndejurus’, they there after killed the family of Bicurisha, how comes if he was in ESM did he dodge the school and come.
President: Explain your self.
Karegeya: That seems to be…, as many of you know; dodging ESM at Butare couldn’t be possible. I only managed doing that at Kigeme and there they were weakened by the fact that they had revealed there was no way for them to win the war, that’s when I dodged.Another thing is that Mukandori Beatrice is in the same group as the Bacurishas’, that Karegeya must be imprisoned and quit the radio, those are facts that I realized.What I can add on, what I want to say is that, it’s now fifteen years that I am working on the National Radio; This Beatrice has been hearing me since ever, I never fled from this region you can carry out an investigation to see if that issue was ever raised.
I am still continuing, Tembasi they said to have gone there, in the last time’s proceeding he said that he did not see Karegeya. And about those crowd attacks that Beatrice talked about, to Rwagasores’, to Bicurishas', I do not even know Bicurisha’s home up to now. And at Ndejuru’s, it was declared in the last time’s proceeding that all that happened the same day. That time I proved that I was not there. People who saw me in that school of ESM testified that. Those things, your Excellencies, I deeply ask the court to consider and analyze that.
President: I want to ask you about two small things. There are people you just said to have testified seeing you in that military academy that was at Nyanza. We need their names. The second is about the Group of that lady, Rwagasore's family and the Bicurishas’. Give us facts that prove their part in conspiring to make you imprisoned.
Karegeya: Starting from the first, there is one called Camille; he was in the army of that time. He said that he saw me there you can ask him.
President: Another one?
Karegeya: Others..? We were in a rush I could not recognize then well, that one also said that he saw me but me, I had not seen him. He saw us running in the morning. You can ask him.
Member of the audience No 5: Thanks Mr. President for giving me this opportunity: Usually I stayed at Gitarama, we received a message saying that there are people that are studying in ESM that are coming to stay in Nyanza, then they chose fifteen people to go and check if those people got where to stay. As I said last time, I think Karegeya did not even see me but I immediately saw him. We had few minutes and we immediately left after seeing them because our duty was accomplished. That is how I saw him. I once again emphasize that that school was there for sure. The commander of the battalion was called Kayitare and not only that one but that school was there; I am a witness to that. I can testify about that.
President: What are you talking about there? We do not want to hear someone else talking any how.
Gacaca court panel member: I think there is something I want to ask you; here you said that they were fifteen people?
Karegeya: I did not say that
Gacaca court panel member: Who said that? Camille is the one who said that they were fifteen. No one else was there a part from Camille?
Karegeya: There were people from different parts of the county. One from this region that we went together is guy from Ntyazo who was a law student in Birambo, I think that he continued and is still in Congo by now. I do not remember his name, he was from Ntyazo and we met there in that school.
Dock windowTable of Contents
Gacaca Court Proceeding: KAREGAYA Isae, Accused
President's Introduction
Call for Witnesses
Stating of Rules/Procedures
Introduction of Karegeya Isaie
Accusation of Karegeya Isaie
Testimony of Gasasira Aciel, Witness
Dock windowView Topics
Discrimination and Persecution (go to page)
Crowd Attacks
Crowd Attacks (General)
(crowd attack that killed Ndejuru)
(crowd attack in Kabere at Bavugiriza Francois' home)
(crowd attack at Arete bus stop)
Leaders of Crowd Attacks
(led by Munyemana, Munyampundu and Kandaguye)
Participants of Crowd Attacks
(Francois, Manace, Saritana Budengeri, Welars, Nyamutera, Buryeburye, John)
(Sibomana Aciel, Buhoro, Alphonse, Ndayisaba, Hafashimana, Fenias)
(Killing of Ndejuru)
(Killing of Nyirarumondo and families of Ndejuru and Bacurisha)
(Ransacking of Ndejuru's and Bacurisha's)
(Roadblock at the bus stop where Karageya was)
Economic Life
(Accusation of Karegeya's bribery)
(From Nyirimbazi's house)
Family Life (go to page)
People by Family Relationship
Karegeya's father and mother
Karegeya's mother
Government and Political Life
Radio Broadcasts
National Radio (Rwanda)
Military (go to page)
Inkontanyi (Front Patriotique Rwandais)
(Conquering Bugesera)
(Conquering Bugesera)
Military Academy
(ESM at Butare)
(ESM at Kigeme)
(Commander Kayitare)
Military Training
(Gun training during the Genocide)
Psychological, Emotional and Cognitive Experience (go to page)
Postwar Reflection upon Forgiveness
(Karegeya asking for forgiveness)
(Karegeya asking for forgiveness)
War Crimes Trials (go to page)
Gacaca Justice System
Allegations of Corruption
War Crimes
(Listing of Karegeya's crimes)
War Crimes Trial Participants
War Crimes Trial Defendants
(Karegeya Esaie and Hategikemana Elias)
(Karegeya Esaie)
War Crimes Trial Judges
(Judge mugged by defendant)
War Crimes Trial Witnesses
Families of Victims
(Family of Bicurisha Raphael)
(Family of Ndejuru)
(Family of Nyirarumondo)
Witnesses (general)
(President asking for witnesses)
(President naming witnesses)
(Gasasira Aciel and wife)
War Crimes Trial Procedures
War Crimes Trial Procedures (general, rules)
(President announcing proceedings of trial)
(President announcing procedures)
(President announcing procedures)
(President announcing procedures)
War Crimes Trial Documents
(Gasasira's appeal letter to President)
(Tembasi's letter of guilt)
Dock windowView People
Bacurisha/Bicurisha Raphael
(Asking for family of)
(As victim)
(As victim)
Bavugiriza Francois
(as corroborator of Karegeya's testimony)
(as corroborator of Karegeya's testimony)
Gasasira Aciel
(Being addressed)
(As defendant)
(As defendant)
(As victim)
(As witness)
Hategekimana Elias
(As criminal)
(As defendant)
(Leader of crowd attack)
(Leader of crowd attack)
Karegeya Esaie
(As criminal)
(As defendant)
(As defendant)
(As defendant)
(As accused)
(As accused)
Kayinamura (father of Karegeya Esaie)
Mugenzi Alphonse
Mukagatare Dancile
(Asking for as witness)
(As witness)
Mukakayumba Jeanne
(Asking for as witness)
(As witness)
Mukashyaka Mediatrice
(Asking for as witness)
(As witness)
Mukamana Marie/Mary
(Asking for as witness)
(As witness)
Mukandori Beatrice
Munyampeta Vital
(Leader of crowd attack)
(Leader of crowd attack)
(Leader of crowd attack)
(Leader of crowd attack)
(As victim)
Muvurende Meriane
Muyenzi Kadaffi
(Asking for family of)
(As victim)
Nyamutera (participant in crowd attack)
Nyirababirigi (mother of Karegeya Esaie)
Nyirabakobwa Asterie
(Asking for as witness)
(As witness)
Nyiramurinda Alfred
(Asking for family of)
(As victim)
Nyirimbabazi (victim)
(About victim)
Rwampabuka (as criminal)
(Judge accused of corruption)
Saritana Budengeri
Sibomana Aciel
(As part of crowd attack)
(As witness)
Dock windowView Places
Arete Bus Stop
Bugesera (see all to 42:21)
Butare (go to page)
(In Nyenza; in reference to ESM military academy there)
(In Nyenza; in reference to ESM military academy there)
Christ Roi Secondary School
ESM Military Academy (See all 39:39-45:26)
(Gasasira Aciel's home and place of his family's death)
(as place of Gacaca court proceedings)
(as site of Arête bus stop crowd attack)
(referenced in written testimony of Karegeya Esaie)
(referenced in refuting Karegeya Esaie's written testimony)
(referenced in video testimony of Karegeya Esaie)
Nyanza (go to page)
(in reference to ESM military academy there)
(during FPR conquering of Bugesera)
(refuting ESM military academy presence there)
(in reference to ESM military academy there)
(in reference to ESM military academy there)
(in reference to ESM military academy there)
(place in crowd attack route)
(place in crowd attack route)
Dock windowView Map
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