Said, 51, is charged with crimes including torture, persecution and enforced disappearances. He appeared in court Tuesday wearing a suit and medical mask and listening to a simultaneous translation of the hearing through headphones.
The court's new chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, told judges that the case against Said was simple.
“It is a detention case, and we say the evidence overwhelmingly shows that Mr. Said was in the room, where it happened. He encouraged it. He facilitated it, but he also took part in beatings and mistreatment,” Khan said.
He cited one victim who was tied up in one of the detention centers who said “the pain was so excruciating he asked his tormentors to put him out of his misery and kill him.”
The Seleka are accused of targeting people in Bangui perceived as supporters of the former Bozizé government in a deadly campaign.
A peace deal between the government and 14 rebel groups was signed in February 2019, but violence blamed on Bozizé and his allies threatens the agreement.