Fulgence Kayishema was born in 1961 in the Kivumu commune, Kibuye in Rwanda. At the time of the facts in question, he was the inspector of the judicial police in this commune.
Following the assassination of the Rwandan president on the 6 April 1994, attacks were perpetrated against Tutsis in the Kivumu commune, like elsewhere in Rwanda. In order to escape these attacks, Tutsis took refuge in public buildings and in churches, including the Nyange Church. In this context, starting 10 April 1994, the mayor of Kivumu, Grégoire Ndahimana (see “related cases”), and the communal police, including Fulgence Kayishema, gathered the refugees from different sectors of the commune and brought them to the Parish of Nyange.
On or around 10 April 1994, many important meetings were said to have taken place at the Parish of Nyange and at the communal office. Athanase Seromba, Gaspard Kanyarukiga (see “related cases”), Grégoire Ndahimana and Fulgence Kayishema were alleged to have attended these meetings. Reportedly, it was during these meetings that it was decided to request Kibuye prefecture for gendarmes in order to gather together all the civilian Tutsis from the Kivumu commune in the Nyange Church.
On 14 April 1994, Fulgence Kayishema was said to have provided the Hutus militia with fuel, in order to be able to set fire to the Nyange Church, whilst at the same time, the gendarmes and the communal police launched grenades at the church. Around 15 April, the attacks against the refugees hiding in the church were intensified. That same day, Athanase Seromba, Grégoire Ndahimana and Fulgence Kayishema were reported to have ordered the destruction of the church, thereby killing some 2,000 Tutsis trapped inside.
According to his indictment, Fulgence Kayishema allegedly supervised these massacres between the 6 April 1994 and 20 April 1994, along with Athanase Seromba, Grégoire Ndahimana, Télesphore Ndungutse, the judge Joseph Habiyambere and the assistant mayor Vedaste Mupende.
On 2 August 2001, Fulgence Kayishema was accused of genocide, or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity for extermination, based on an indictment issued by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
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