A Rwandan man pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including the murder of 12 women and two men, in a high-profile case that shocked the country.
Denis Kazungu, 34, allegedly buried his victims in his kitchen.
Police discovered the crime earlier this month after evicting him from his rented accommodation in Kicukiro, a suburb of the capital, Kigali.
A woman in a packed courtroom cried out for her child, whom she said was a victim, after hearing the guilty plea.
They called this hearing to determine whether Mr. Kazungu should remain in detention. The judge will announce the decision on 26 September.
Mr. Kazungu, without legal representation, appeared calm and composed at the hearing. When asked to plead, he firmly stated, “guilty”.
He alleged that his victims deliberately infected him with AIDS to justify his crimes, but he did not offer any proof of this.
Mr. Kazungu’s mental health remains unclear, but he appeared sound when he requested the court put proceedings behind closed doors. However, the court denied his request.
“I have committed extreme crimes, and I do not want the media to report on me,” he said.
The police arrested Mr. Kazungu after his landlord reported him for defaulting on rent payments for seven months.
The police official informed Rwanda’s private newspaper, The New Times, that he fought back during his eviction.
The official said that he apologized and cried excessively, which raised our suspicions.
I detained him and personally took him to the police. He confessed to killing some people at the police station, which prompted Rib [Rwanda Investigation Bureau] to investigate his residence.
A Rib spokesperson stated that he lured his victims, who were primarily sex workers, to his home and proceeded to rob them. He strangled them to death and buried them in a hole he dug in the kitchen of his rented house.
Investigators have not yet revealed the names of all the suspected victims of Mr. Kazungu.