Arusha, 20 June 2008 (FH) – The defence counsels in the trial of four officers on trial before the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Friday requested the Chamber to order the Prosecutor to transmit the investigations into the 1994 murders of several clergymen, including three bishops, reports the Hirondelle Agency. The Rwandan Military Court in Kigali this week charged four soldiers of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) for the killings.

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The arrests were made following joint investigations by the Rwandan Prosecutor General and the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTR, according to Kigali.
The accused apprehended are General Wilson Gumisiriza, Major Wilson Ukwishaka, and Captains John Butera and Dieudonné Rukeba.
“It is necessary that all the aspects of the investigations carried out on the Kabgayi massacres be transmitted”, said Charles Takou, the lead counsel for Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, who commanded during the 1994 genocide the reconnaissance battalion.
“This trial has dealt with the subject of the Kabgayi massacres, a place on which you will have to pronounce, therefore we ask that the investigations of the prosecutor be transmitted to us”, added Takou. The lawyer did not agree for the prosecutor “to distance these investigations from this tribunal”.
“It is in the interest of justice that this investigation be communicated in this case’’, added, Gilles Saint-Laurent, lead lawyer of General Augustin Bizimungu, the former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army.
The two other defence teams also supported the request on which the Chamber has not yet rendered a decision.
Alphonse Van of the prosecution team promised to report the matter to the prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow, who is personally involved in the case.
This exchange came before the cross-examination, by Mr. Van, of the former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan national police, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, who has been testifying in his defence since Monday.
In addition to Ndindiliyimana, Bizimungu and Nzuwonemeye, the case also implicates Captain Innocent Sagahutu, who commanded a squadron of the reconnaissance battalion.
Accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all four have pleaded not guilty.
Their trial began in September 2004.