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Arusha, 13 April 2007 (FH) – Less than two months before the presentation of the closing arguments in the trial called “Military I”, one of the most important cases for the History of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the Chamber just admitted, in a decision issued Thursday, a declaration relative to the assassination of the President Juvénal Habyarimana on 6 April 1994 as evidence. Signed by the Australian Michael Hourigan, a former ICTR investigator, the declaration identifies the former rebel movement of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR, currently in power) as the main responsible for the attack. The assassination of Habyarimana is considered as the element which triggered the genocide that Rwanda is currently commemorating for the 13th consecutive year. The admission of the exhibit was requested by one of the 4 accused, Makor Aloys Ntabakuze, former commander of the paratrooper. The request of Ntabakuze was supported by the most famous ICTR accused, the former Cabinet director of the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Théoneste Bagorosa, presented by Prosecution a s the “brain” of the genocide. The accused in this trial have always affirmed that the absence of a debate on the assassination of Habyarimana would violate their fundamental right to a fair trial. Underlining that the Accused are not prosecuted for this attack, the Chamber allowed a debate on this subject but only in order to understand the context. The admission of the declaration of Hourigan occurred although hearings in this trial ended last January. In a previous decision, the same Chamber refused to issue a writ of summons for the former investigator. In addition to Bagorosa and Ntabakuze, the “Military I” case implies the former chief of the military operations at the Army Staff, Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi and the former Commander of the military district of Gisenyi (north), Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. Prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the four accused have pled not guilty. On its substance, the trial started in April 2002. The Prosecutor closed its case on 14 October 2004 and the Defence last 19 January. In total, 242 witnesses (Prosecution and defence) were heard. The judgement must be rendered next year. ER/PB/CV © Hirondelle News Agency