Arusha, August 27, 2003 (FH)-The prosecution in the trial of former Rwandan Minister for Higher Education Jean de Die Kamuhanda asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to impose a sentence of life imprisonment on the suspect as it ended its closing arguments on Wednesday. The prosecuting counsel Ibukunolu Babajide of Nigeria told Trial Chamber Two of ICTR that the prosecution expects the court to find Kamuhanda guilty of all the charges.

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Kamuhanda, aged 49, faces eight counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape and murder. He has denied all charges. "We ask for nothing less than a maximum life imprisonment and that is for the remainder of his life",Babajide told the court. Babajide submitted that the offences Kamuhanda is accused of are of grave nature adding that "there is no other offence known to human beings that is graver than genocide". He further argued, "this man betrayed the people who looked upon him and instead masterminded and executed genocide on the innocent people of Gikomero Commune. Not only did he do this but he directly participated in the genocide. "The prosecutor said the situation is aggravated by the fact that Kamuhanda had the opportunity to stop the massacres but he did not. He also had the opportunity to resign as a minister in the interim government but he chose not to. Babajide declared that the prosecution has discharged the burden of proof and had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. He urged the chamber to disbelieve the defence witnesses account in court and Kamuhanda's alibi which he termed as a "lie concocted by an intelligent man. "Kamuhanda has maintained that he never visited Gikomero Commune in April 1994 as claimed by the prosecution. He is accused of leading attacks on Tutsi refugees at Gikomero Protestant Parish and Gishaka Catholic Parish on April 12 th 1994. Kamuhanda's defence consisting of Aicha Conde from Guinea and Patricia Mongo from Congo Brazaville will present their closing arguments on Thursday. Kamuhanda trial is before Trial Chamber II composed of Judge William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Judge Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Judge Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). PJ/AT/FH (KH'0827e)