Arusha, September 11, 2003 (FH) - The prosecution will complete presenting evidence by September 22, in the trial of former Rwandan Minister for Finance Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, the prosecuting counsel in the case, Charles Adeogun-Philips of Nigeria, told Hirondelle News Agency on Thursday. Ndindabahizi 53, is charged with three counts including genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination and murder).

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He allegedly perpetrated massacres of civilians in his home prefecture of Kibuye, western Rwanda. Adeogun-Philips confirmed that the prosecution is yet to call seven more witnesses in the case among them one expert, American historian and human rights activist Alison Des Forges. When the trial began, on September 1st, the prosecution declared they expected to call all their witnesses within one month. So far, nine prosecution witnesses have testified. If the prosecution indeed completes its evidence at the said date, it will be the fastest trial at the ICTR as far as the presentation of prosecution witnesses is concerned. In the trial of Sylvestre Gacumbitsi, the former mayor of Rusomo commune, which began on July 28, 2003, the prosecution completed its evidence in 30 days. The trial was adjourned on Wednesday to Monday after the testimony of the ninth prosecution witness whose evidence was taken entirely in closed session. The evidence of other two previous witnesses was also taken entirely in closed session. Rule 79 of the ICTR provides that a trial chamber may order proceedings to be held in closed session for public order or morality, safety, security or non-disclosure of the identity of a victim or witness, and the protection of the interests of justice. Ndindabahizi is represented by Pascal Besnier and Guillaune Marçais of France. The trial is before Trial Chamber composed of Judge Erik Mose (Norway) presiding, Judge Khalida Rachid (Pakistan) and Solomy Bossa Balungi (Uganda). PJ/CE/FH (NB'0911e)