|Rwanda||ACCUSED BISHOP CLAIMS VICTIMISATION|
The Catholic bishop accused of complicity in Rwanda's 1994 genocide denied on Thursday any responsibility for the massacres, saying he was wrongly arrested on orders of the former president.
If convicted, 56-year-old Augustin Misago faces a mandatory death sentence on charges that he participated in the meetings during which the former extremist Hutu government discussed plans to kill minority Tutsis.
More than 500,000 people were killed between April and July 1994, many of them in churches and with the suspected complicity of priests and nuns, before the Tutsi-led rebels won power and stopped the massacres.
In closing arguments, defence lawyers said Misago had no choice but to attend the security meetings. "If he had refused to go, he would've been killed himself," said Alfred Pognon, one the three defence lawyers.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said that the presence at the meetings of Misago - then the top church authority in the southern Gikongoro diocese - meant he was aware of the plans to carry out the systematic massacres of Tutsis in the region, where tens of thousands died at the hands of Hutu soldiers, militiamen and ordinary civilians.