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Arusha, 13 April 2007 (FH) – The trial of Protais Zigiranyirazo, called Mr. Z, a brother-in-law of the former President Juvénal Habyarimana, the only one to be held this week, was suspended until 19 November, we learn on Friday at the International Criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). “The next session will take place from 19 November to 14 December”. It will be the last session. All witnesses left will be heard”, the President of the Chamber, Argentinean Judge Monica Inès de Roca, declared. Accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, Zigiranyirazo, which has pled not guilty, has cited defence witnesses since October 2006. “About eleven other witnesses” are waiting, his defence said. Zigiranyirazo is defended by Canadian lawyers: Mr. John Philpot and Mr. Peter Zaduk. A week before starting the session again, the Chamber will go to visit the premises of the alleged crimes. Zigiranyirazp is prosecuted for the massacres of Tutsi principally in his native region, Gisenyi (north-west). The visit of the premises will start on 12 November and will last two to three days, depending on the itinerary and the number of sites which will be decided on later, the Chamber précised. Mr. Z’s trial started on 3 October 2005. It was the only one in the calendar of the ICTR this week. One of the witnesses who were heard was Jean-Marie Vianny Ndagijimana, former Rwandan Minister of Foreign affairs and former Ambassador of his country in France. Ndagijimana was a member of a party opposing Juvénal Habyarimana in 1994. The testimony of Ndagijimana was mostly based on his experience as former General Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service. He occupied this function in the 80’s. At that time, Zigiranyirazo was prefect of Ruhengeri (north). Ndagijimana refuted the allegations according to which Mr. Z had influence on the recruitment and the promotion of public officers. “I never saw him at the Ministry, I never dealt with a file that came from him”, Ndagijimana indicated, underlining that it was himself who coordinated the policy of employment within the public administration. Ndagijimana was heard from The Hague via video-conference. The defence of Zigiranyirazo was particular because almost all his witnesses publicly testified. Another witness who came to his aid this week is the former prefect of Gisenyi, Charles Zirimwabagabo. He was prefect before and after the genocide of Tutsi in 1994. He gave an alibi to Zigiranyirazo. The witness indicated that the accused did not participate in certain meetings, thus sweeping the allegations formulated against him in some places. In addition to Judge Inès de Roca, the Chamber which tries Zigiranyirazo includes Judge Khalida Rachida Khan (Pakistan) and Judge Lee Gacuiga Muthoga (Kenya). Next week will be marked by the beginning of the presentation of the defence’s evidence in the case of Augustin Bizimungu, former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), called the “Military II” case, and by the resumption of the proceedings in the Butare case. AT/PB/CV © Hirondelle News Agency