Arusha, 22 June 2007 (FH) - The newly elected President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as well as its Prosecutor were this week in New York to present their assessments and their prospects to the General assembly of the United Nations.

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President Dennis Byron repeated that the work of the ICTR would be
finished only when the defendants have been tried, when the victims of the
large scale crimes receive justice and when the establishment of the facts
allows for reconciliation in Rwanda. The Prosecutor, as for him, announced
several transfer requests, including that of two persons exiled in France
and who could be tried there on charges carried against them by
international justice.

At the ICTR, a new trial, that of the catholic priest Hormisdas
Nsengimana, began Friday morning. Tried for genocide, murder and
extermination, the defendant was the vice-chancellor of the Christ King
College of Nyanza, in southern Rwanda. With the beginning of the trial,
the new chief of prosecutions, the Italian Silvana Arbia, announced that
24 witnesses, from which "members of the Rwandan clergy", will come to
prove the guilt of the clergyman "beyond any reasonable doubt". The
Chamber is composed of judges Erik Mose (President), Sergei Egorov and
Rita Arrey.

In the Karemera case, name of the one of the accused which is usually
presided by Judge Byron, the two assessor judges continued to sit to hear
the 15th witness of the prosecution. Another is awaited for Monday.
vice-president of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and
Development (MRND), Edouard Karemera appears with the former president and
secretary-general of the party, respectively Mathieu Ngirumpatse and
Joseph Nzirorera. They face, among other crimes, charges of rapes
committed in various corners of the country by members of the youth wing
of the MRND.

In Butare, which should sit until 15 July, the former prefect of Butare,
Alphonse Nteziryayo was cross-examined by other defense counsels. It will
continue Monday in spite of incidents and tensions related to translation

In the trial of Tharcisse Renzaho, the former prefect of Kigali, the
defense directed by the co-council Barnabe Nekuie, was only able to
introduce three witnesses. The proceedings were suspended in the middle of
the week and will restart only on 2 July.


© Hirondelle News Agency