A Rwandan woman turned Dutch national went on trial in a Hague court on Monday charged with genocide for her alleged role in the 1994 massacre of almost a million people in the central African nation.
Yvonne Basebya, 65, is accused of involvement with “killing and raping Tutsis with the aim of the extermination of the Tutsi population group,” prosecutors told the court as the case opened.
Dressed in a cream jacket and black trousers, Basebya, 65, listened intently as prosecutors read out six charges for her alleged role in the killings, carried out by Hutu extremists against Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The murders, carried out largely with just clubs and machetes, were sparked when then Rwandan Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down at Kigali airport on April 6, 1994.
His death was subsequently pinned on Rwanda's minority Tutsi population and over the next three months about 800 000 people according to UN figures, died in an orgy of violence.
Basebya, maiden name Ntacyobatabara, is accused of playing a central role in the genocide including at the Pallottines Church where she “intentionally had killed... members of the Tutsi population group,” according to the charge sheet.