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Arusha, February 7 2007 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has postponed to March 2nd the trial of the former prefect of Kigali, Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, after 23 prosecution witnesses of the initial list have been heard in 17 days.Seldom has the ICTR maintained such a rapid pace.However, the prosecutor has asked the chamber to call one more factual witness and an expert. The expert is Alison Des Forges, an American historian and human rights activist who has already appeared in several trials before the ICTR.Renzaho, 63, faces six charges: genocide, complicity in genocide, murder as crime against humanity, rape as crime against humanity, murder as war crime and rape as war crime. He had pleaded not guilty.According to the witnesses who have testified since January 8, Renzaho would have participated in massacres of Tutsis who had sheltered in 1994 in three Catholic Church-owned structures in the capital.The witnesses have declared that, in perpetrating certain of these massacres, the ex-prefect would have received the help of a leader of the Sainte Famille parish, namely Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, who has taken refuge in France.The exiled priest was tried in absentia last year by a court in Kigali and found guilty.At the opening of the trial on January 8, Jonathan Moses (New Zealand), the prosecution trial attorney, had stated that after April 6th 1994, Renzaho had « participated in massacres of Tutsi citizens, and in the pillage and destruction of their property».« He had at least 200 police officers under his command; he could commandeer the gendarmerie; Renzaho has used these forces under his authority as a means to reach his personal goal », Mr. Moses had declared. « The prefecture of Kigali had become one of the operation centers of the genocide forces », he had added.On the opposite, the defence lead counsel, Mr. François Cantier, had preferred to question the equity of the ICTR proceedings. « This tribunal tries the alleged criminals of one side only », the French lawyer had saidblaming the ICTR for not trying members of the former rebel forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) now in power. « This affects the fairness » of the proceedings, he had said as a conclusion.The chamber, presided by Judge Erik Mose (Norway), also President of the tribunal, has asked Mr. Cantier to get ready to call his witnesses in May.ER/AT/MG© Hirondelle Agency