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Tanzanian Lawyer Who Defended Rwanda Genocide Suspect Is Killed

A Tanzanian lawyer who defended a Rwandan genocide suspect was shot dead and documents were stolen from his vehicle in an attack in which two other people died, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said.

Jwani Mwaikusa, 58, was killed at the gate of his home at 10.30 p.m. on July 13 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial hub, tribunal spokesman Roland Amoussouga said in a phone interview today. Mwaikusa’s 25-year-old nephew and an unidentified neighbor were also shot dead, he said.

“He was confronted by people and they shot him twice, once in the head and the chest,” Amoussouga said. “The nephew struggled with one of the assailants and he was killed on the spot. There was a commotion and one of the neighbors that came out was also killed.”

Mwaikusa was the lead lawyer for Yussuf Munyakazi, who was found guilty on July 1 by the United Nations-backed tribunal of genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity. As many as 800,000 people, more than a 10th of Rwanda’s population, died in a 100-day slaughter of minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus by ethnic-Hutu militias in 1994.

Police are investigating Mwaikusa’s death, Amoussouga said.

“The police are putting in extra resources because he was a leading professor of law in Tanzania and very, very effective,” Amoussouga said. “It’s sad because he was a great man.”

Mwaikusa was a professor of law at the University of Dar es Salaam, according to statement on its website.

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