Arusha, October 1, 2003 (FH) – The defence team in the trial of former Rwandan Minister of finance Emmanuel Ndindabahizi informed the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday that they would be ready to present their witnesses as of October 27 th. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR postponed the case after hearing the evidence of fifteen prosecution witnesses in a period of twelve trial days.

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The trial began on September 1 st. The defence will present twenty-seven witnesses when the case resumes. Along with Sylvestre Gacumbitsi's trial (former mayor of Rusumo commune), Ndindabahizi's case is seen as among the fastest trials at the ICTR. In both cases, the prosecution presented the same number of witnesses within the same period. Ndindabahizi 53, is charged with three counts including genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination and murder). He allegedly perpetrated massacres of civilians in his home prefecture of Kibuye, western Rwanda. The prosecution team is composed of Charles Edeogun-Phillips (Nigeria) and Wallace Kapaya (Tanzania) while Ndindabahizi is defended by Pascal Besnier and Guillaume Marçais from France. Ndindabahizi's trial is before Trial Chamber One composed of judge Erik Mose (Norway) presiding, assisted by judges Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan) and Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda). PJ/CE/FH (NB'1001e)