Ruben Rozendaal, one of the co-defendants in the mass murder trial involving Suriname President Desi Bouterse, has died, after allegedly committing suicide by bleeding to death following a cut on his left arm.

A doctor who examined Rozendaal, whose body was recently found in his apartment in the capital, said that the death of the 61-year-old man was due to blood loss.

Rozendaal appeared in court on October 30 where the military prosecutor, Roy Elgin, had sought a 10 year-jail term for the former army officer.

According to the prosecutor, Rozendaal had participated in the planning and extra judicial killing of 15 political opponents of the then military government on December 8, 1982 that was headed by Bouterse.

Elgin argued that there was a script for the December murders and that the former army officer had played a specific role.

Following the court hearing in October, Rozendaal, who said he had expected to be acquitted, became very emotional, insisting that as a soldier he was merely following orders.



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