Sunday, 3 June 2007

Google Earth breakthrough in murder trial

Lawyers in the trial of a former Rwandan army major accused of ordering the murder of ten Belgian paratroopers in 1994, just before the genocide in that country, have taken the unprecedented step of using Google Earth to explain the locations referred to, according to De Morgen newspaper yesterday. Questions the application is being asked to help solve: could Major Bernard Ntuyahaga possibly have not heard the shots from his office? Could one of the key witnesses have seen the killings from the position he describes?

The use of Google Earth could help the court to arrive at a ruling over a request by some civil parties (representing the victims) for the entire trial to make an information trip to Kigali to settle just such location questions. The court is currently considering the request.