Arusha, 17 July, 2008 (FH) – Two different joint trials involving seven accused persons have been prematurely adjourned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to mid next month for lack of defence witnesses and the mid-year judicial recess. In the so called “Military II Trial” which was adjourned Wednesday, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, former Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion ran short of witnesses after presenting 15 of them for his defence.

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When it resumes 8 September, the accused will continue presenting the remaining 20 defence witnesses.
Major Nzuwonemeye’s Deputy Commander, Captain Innocent Sagahatu will be next on line to start his defence.
Other defendants in the case who have already presented their cases are: former Chiefs of Staff of the Army, General Augustin Bizimungu and that of the gendarmerie national, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana.
Another case which was postponed Tuesday was that of the three former leaders of MRND party during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The case was adjourned when the accused Edouard Karemera, former Vice President of MRND had already fielded seven witnesses for his defence out the expected 65. Karemera will continue with his defence when the case resumes on August 18, 2008.
Other accused in the trial are Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former president of MRND and his Secretary General, Joseph Nzirorera who are yet to start their defence case.