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Arusha, January 30 2007 (FH) - The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) concluded the presentation of evidence Monday evening in the trial of Siméon Nshamihigo, a Rwandan former magistrate. A former deputy prosecutor in Cyangugu (south-west of Rwanda), Nshamihigo, 47, is charged with genocide, murder, extermination and other inhuman acts. Nshamihigo was arrested in 2001 as he worked within a defence team at the ICTR. He has pleaded not guilty. Since the trial opened on September 25th 2006, the prosecution team led by Alphonse Van (Ivory Coast) has presented 24 witnesses. Next Thursday, both judges and parties will hold «a status conference » during which they will schedule the beginning of the presentation of witnesses for the defence. At the beginning of the trial, Mr. Van had accused Nshamihigo of having ordered attacks against Tutsis in 1994 in several locations in the prefecture of Cyangugu, and notably in churches. Furthermore, he would have launched a murderous foray in the nearby prefecture of Kibuye, the prosecutor had added. « His vision of Rwanda was that of a mono-ethnic society in which only Hutus, real Hutus, in his mind, would be allowed to live », Mr. Van had alleged.Nshamihigo had applied for his job as defence investigator at the ICTR under a false Congolese name, Sammy Bahati WezaVan had also declared that, in order to be appointed deputy prosecutor in Rwanda, Nshamihigo had produced a false degree. The lead counsel for the defence, Denis Turcotte (Canada), had promised he would establish the innocence of his client when « the time would come ». Another ex-investigator for the defence at the ICTR, Joseph Nzabirinda aka Biroto, has made a different choice altogether. A former youth organizer in the Butare prefecture (south), Nzabirinda, has opted not for a confrontation but for a settlement with the prosecution with which he stroke a deal last December. As a result, Nzabirinda has pleaded guilty for his role of « approving spectator » of murder of Tutsis and both parties have agreed on a sentence ranging from 5 to 8 years in prison. However, the last word will go to the chamber which hasn’t yet decided on the length of the prison term. MG/ER/AT © Hirondelle News Agency