News24

Rwandan rebel says he is innocent

2011-01-28 13:41

The Hague - A Rwandan rebel has told international war crimes judges that he was not involved in an alleged murderous 2009 campaign for power in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Callixte Mbarushimana has made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court since he was handed over by French authorities on Tuesday. He was arrested in Paris last October.

Mbarushimana, leader of the Hutu rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, is accused of 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes by FDLR rebels, including murder, rape, persecution based on gender, and extensive destruction of property.

He was not required to enter a plea on Friday. But he told the judges he was "in no way involved" in any of the crimes and asked them to release him pending further hearings.