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Arusha, February 7 2007(FH) – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)announced on Wednesday that it would determine a sentence on February 23 in the case of Joseph Nzabirinda, a former youth organizer who has pleaded guilty.On December 14, Nzabirinda, 50, pleaded guilty to helping and supporting by omission, two murders as an « approving spectator ». The crimes took place in Sahera, his native village in the South of Rwanda in April 1994.In mid-January 2007, the defence and the prosecution have presented their arguments before the chamber and asked that the repentant receive a prison sentence raging from five to eight years.During that pre-sentencing hearing, Nzabirinda has expressed his deep remorse and apologized to the families of the victims, to the Rwandan population in general and to the international community.He has also committed himself to fighting all forms of sectarianism.Nzabirinda is represented by Mr. François Roux (France) and Mr. Jean Haguma (Rwanda).His lawyers have asked the trial chamber to go for the lowest suggested sentence so as to encourage other defendants to avow before the ICTR and to foster national reconciliation in Rwanda.Nzabirinda was arrested in Belgium on December 21 2001 and transferred to Arusha on March 21 2002. He used to work as an investigator within a defence team at the ICTR.He had pleaded not guilty on all counts at first but ended up changing his mind after striking a plea bargain with the prosecutor.The ICTR was created in 1994. It has tried thirty-one persons so far (five have been acquitted). Twenty-eight accused are currently on trial and eight more are awaiting trials.AT/MG© Hirondelle Agency