Arusha, July 11, 2003 (FH) - The closing arguments in the trial of former Mukingo Mayor Juvenal Kajelijeli will take place from Monday, July 14th, to Wednesday, July 16th in Trial Chamber Two of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Kajelijeli, 52, is facing eight counts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed between April and July 1994.

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The crimes are said to have been committed against Tutsis in Mukingo commune in Ruhengeri prefecture (Northwest Rwanda) and surrounding areas. The prosecutor accuses Kajelijeli of “ordering, organizing, supervising and taking part in these attacks”. In his testimony, the accused maintained his innocence, adding that he was himself a victim of the 1994 events. He had lost Tutsi friends and relatives during the genocide, he said. Kajelijeli trial was adjourned on April 24, 2003, a day after the accused completed testifying in his defence. He was the twenty-eighth and last defence witness. The prosecution closed its case on April 10, 2002 after presenting fourteen witnesses. The trial started on July 4, 2001. Kajelijeli's defence team is made of Lennox Hinds, of the United States and Nkeyi Bompaka, from Congo, while the prosecution team is led by Ifeoma Ojemini, of Nigeria. Trial Chamber Two is also set to hear the closing arguments in the case of former Rwanda Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda from August 19th to 21st. The Chamber is composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). The judgment in the Kajelijeli case is expected before the end of the year. PJ/CE/FH (KJ'0710e)