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Arusha, 9th of March 2007 (FH) – The Prosecutor of the ICTR has officially closed his prosecution this week in the trial of the former prefet of Kigali city, Tharcisse Renzaho, prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity. Colonel in the former Rwandese army, Renzaho, 63 years old, ran the Kigali prefecture between 1990 and 1994. He was arrested in Congo (DRC) on the 29th of September 2002. The Prosecutor accuses him of participating in the massacres of Tutsis, especially in three places of Kigali city; the Centre of African Languages Studies, the parish Sainte Famille (Saint Family) and the National Centre of Pastoral Saint-Paul II. He pleads non guilty. The Prosecutor has summoned twenty five witnesses in this trial which started on the 8th of January 2007. The Defense will have his witnesses appear from May. Renzaho is represented by the French lawyer Mr. François Cantier and a Cameroonian colleague Mr. Barnabé Nekuie. In the beginning of the trial, Mr. Cantier had expressed doubts regarding the fairness of the trial, calling upon difficulties in the summoning of witnesses from Rwanda. He also argued that the ICTR has yet prosecuted only Hutus former leaders. Former rebels, mainly Tutsis, from the RPF, at present in power in Kigali, are also suspected of crimes that would be under the jurisdiction of the ICTR. The Tribunal has also, during this week, continued the debates in three other trials which are Rukundo, Butare and Zigiranyirazo. Emmanuel Rukundo, 47 years old, is a catholic priest accused of genocide in the centre of Rwanda. In 1994, he was military chaplain. His trial started on the 15th of November last year. The Prosecutor is about to conclude his prosecution. Some witnesses accuse him, among others, of having have made his Tutsis colleagues killed. He pleads non guilty. In the Butare trial, the name of a region in the South of Rwanda, it is Defense that calls its witnesses. Six accused are on the dock, among them is the only woman prisoner of the ICTR, the former minister of family and feminine promotion, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. She is trialed, among others, with her son, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, a former university student accused among others of rapes. This trial started in June 2001. The Defense summons his witnesses since January 2005. At present, it is the third accused turn. Protais Zigiranyirazo, 69 years old, as for him, has been trialed since October 2005. This former prefet of Ruhengeri (north) who went into business in the 90’s, is a brother-in-law of former president Juvénal Habyarimana, whose death on the 6th of April 1994 in a flight attack started the genocide. The main accusations against him are regarding the part played by the Akasu, a circle of persons closed to the former president, before and during the genocide. This week, a defense witness has declared that the Akasu had been invented by opponents to Habyarimana in order to weaken his power. The witness, Jean-Marie Vianney Nkezabera, is an influent member of the main opposition party to Habyarimana, the MDR, the political formation that, according to him, created this term. Zigiranyirazo has also been defended by several members of his family, among them Dr Séraphin Bararengana, the younger brother of former president Habyarimana. They were alibi witnesses. AT/PB/MD © Hirondelle News Agency