1 min 38Approximate reading time

Arusha, 5 May 2007 (FH) –The four month suspension of the trial of three leaders of the political party that was in power during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in front of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has been put to an end since a date to resume the trial has been set and a substitute judge has been nominated.
On the back-burner since the 19 January, illness related retirement of Ghanian judge Ghanian Francis Short, the MRND trial will begin on 11 June. 
The Accused were in charge of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development, the party of former president Juvénal Habyarimana, who died 6 April 1994 in the attempt to bring about the genocide of the Tutsis.
The parties have used this “break” to argue about the resumption of the trial or the continuation of the trial’s suspension.  The judges leaned in favour of the advocates of continuing the trial.  The trial began on September 2005.  The prosecutor has already summoned thirteen out of one hundred witnesses.
Danish judge Vagn Joensen has been designated to replace Judge Short.  He was sworn in on Wednesday in front of the president of the ICTR and the registrar, who represented the United Nations secretary-general.
Former attorney, prosecutor, and law professor in Denmark, Vahn Joensen was also a judge in Denmark and Kosovo.
The Tribunal has also publicized three indictments which were previously sealed.  They concern Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, former sub-prefect of Gisagara.  He is answering for the crimes of genocide and complicity in genocide as well as directly inciting the public to commit genocide.  The charges against him are partly similar to those against the mayor of Muganza, which is not far from Gisagara, Elie Ndayambahe, who was prosecuted along with five other people in the Butare case since Junie 2001.
Butare is one of four trials which are taking place this week.  In Butare, the fourth accused is presenting his defence.  In the interest of moving along the trial, the chamber has ordered the two remaining to reduce there list of witnesses to thirty each.  They have appealed this decision.
Apart from Butare, the other trials which are set for this week are Military II (four officers), Government II (four ex-ministers), and Siméon Nshamihigo (a former deputy prosecutor).
The trial Nshamihigo was reported in August.  Since 23 April, Nshamihigo has presented his first eighteen witnesses.
On Friday, the Tribunal has finally held a brief conference of the state of affaires of the Emmanuel Rukundo case, a Catholic priest accused of genocide.  It has been decided that he will present his case beginning on 2 July.
© Hirondelle News Agency