Laurent Bucyibaruta was born in 1944 in Musange, Gikongoro, Rwanda. He was the Mayor of Musange, from 13 October 1973 to 22 November 1974. He was then sub-prefect of Butare and Gisenyi, and subsequently prefect of Kibungo from 1985 to 1992. He became prefect of Gikongoro on 4 July 1992 until July 1994. He also served as deputy to the National Assembly until 1991, when multiparty system arose in Rwanda. Furthermore, he participated as an activist in the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (NRMD) and head of the prefectural committee of the Interahamwe movement, the youth organization of the NRMD.
Laurent Bucyibaruta is accused of having been one of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
According to the indictment of ICTR, the accused spoke in December 1993 during a public rally in Gikongoro market, urging the assistance to contribute money to buy arms to fight the Tutsi enemy. In addition, Bucyibaruta is accused of having ordered, on several occasions, the military police, Interahamwe and armed civilians who were under his command to commit several massacres against the Tutsi population located in several places. Therefore, it is believed that many of the following killings were organised and directed by Laurent Bucyibaruta, for instance, on 21 April 1994 in the parish of Cyanika and Kaduha; on 22 April 1994, in the prison of Gikongoro; on 7 May 1994 at the girls' school in Kibeho. Additionally, on 10 April 1994, Laurent Bucyibaruta encouraged many Tutsis to go to the Murambi Technical School where they had promised food. However, the Tutsis who joined the school were killed on 20 and 21 April 1994 by gendarmes, policemen and armed civilians.
It is alleged that, at that time, Bucyibaruta held the position of prefect of Gikongoro and thus had authority over officials of the government. It is also believed that as head of the prefectural committee of Interahamwe, he exercised authority and control over Interahamwes and other members of the NRMD.
After the genocide, Laurent Bucyibaruta moved to France and he has been the subject of a first proceeding conducted by French judges and a second one led by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). In the first case, he was arrested and released in 2000. Nevertheless, according to proceedings conducted by the ICTR, he was arrested on 20 July 2007 by French authorities under an international arrest warrant. He is currently detained in Paris.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.