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Arusha, 4 May 20007 (FH) - Suspended since the beginning of the year due to the retirement of one of the judges, the trial of three national directors of the former Rwandan presidential party during the 1994 genocide will resume 11 June.
Mathieu Ngirumpatse, Douard Karemera, and Joseph Karemera, respectively the former president, vice-president and secretary general of the Mouvement Republicain National Pour le Democratie et le Developpement, are accused of the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.  They have pleaded not guilty.
The recommencement of the trial, which began in September 2005, was made possible by the appointment of a new judge, Danois Vagn Joensen, who was sworn in on Wednesday.
In their order setting the commencement of the arguments for 11 June, the judges, Dennis Byron (Saint Kitts and Nevis) and Gustave Kam (Burkina Faso), who were previously sitting on the bench in this case, estimate that the prosecutor and the defence teams have made good use of the suspension of the case to prepare for the trial.
The two judges also hope that the delay is sufficient enough to allow the new judge to familiarise himself with the case, according to the order.
After the resumption of the trial, the arguments will proceed until 3 August, according to the decision, which also requires the prosecution to disclose a list of its witnesses it intends to call to the stand by 7 May. 
By the time Ghanian Judge Emile Francis Short, announced his retirement on 19 January, 110 days of the testimony of 13 witnesses had been completed. The arguments would have, in the opinion of everyone, continued after the closing of the Tribunal, which has been set by the United Nations for 31 December 2008.
© Hirondelle News Agency