Arusha, July 12, 2002 (FH) - Prosecution and defence in the genocide trial of Seventh Day Adventist pastor, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, and his son medical doctor, Gerard Ntakirutimana, will submit their closing arguments before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on August 21st and 22nd. At the time of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, 78, was pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist church mission at Mugonero in Kibuye.

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Gerald Ntakirutimana, 44, was a medical doctor at the infirmary which lay in the same complex. The prosecutor, among other accusations, alleges that the two lured persecuted Tutsis to take refugee at Mugonero complex before bringing in soldiers and militias to kill them. They also allegedly participated in killings of Tutsi refugees in nearby Bisesero hills. The prosecution estimates that 6,000 Tutsis were killed in the attack on Mugonero complex. An estimated one million Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed in the 1994 genocide according to an official census by the government of Rwanda. The Ntakirutimanas are charged with several counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Their trial began on September 18, 2001. It adjourned several times to give way for other hearings taking place in the same chamber. The last time it adjourned was May, after the defence finished presenting its witnesses. Pastor Ntakirutimana is the first of five clergymen detained by the ICTR to go on trial. He was arrested in 1996 in Texas, USA. Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and David Jacobs of Canada are lawyers for Pastor Ntakirutimana and Doctor Ntakirutimana respectively. The prosecution team composed of Charles Philips-Adeogun of Nigeria and the UK, Wallace Kapaya of Tanzania and Boi-Tia Stevens of the US. This trial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of judges Erik Mose of Norway (presiding), Navanethem Pillay of South Africa and judge Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. GG/DO/FH(NK-0712e)