13.08.07 - RWANDA/JUSTICE - THE VERDICT IN BYUMA CASE IS DEFERRED BY A WEEK

Kigali, 13 August 2007 (FH) - The appeal verdict in the case of François-Xavier Byuma, a very well known human rights activist in Rwanda, was deferred by a week, noted Saturday the Hirondelle agency.
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Initially scheduled for 11 August, the judgment should be rendered next Saturday, declared the president of the Gacaca court of the Biryogo sector in Kigali.

Byuma had been sentenced to 19 years in prison on 27 May after being found guilty of, among others, during the 1994 genocide, of assaulting and injuring a woman named Batamuliza and to have kidnapped her with the intention of killing her.

The deferral of the verdict was caused by the complexity and the length of the testimonies of the final witnesses.

On Saturday, the court heard the testimony of Pascal Mutuyeyezu, a witness for the defence. He was a driver for the Councillor of Biryogo sector in 1994.

Byuma is, in particular, accused of having used the telephone in the office of the sector to ask the Coucillor, Amri Karekezi, if he knew Batamuliza.

Mutuyeyezu denied any implication of Byuma in the crimes committed in the Biryogo sector.

On the level of the appellate court, for the first time since the beginning of the trial on 20 May, testimonies related to the death of a certain Raymond Rubayiza were heard. The judges decided that these facts will be referred to another court.

On Sunday, the Gacaca court of Nyakabanda in Kigali had, for its part, also deferred by a week the verdict in the trial of Modeste Madengeri, a survivor accused of genocide.

SRE/MM/AT
© Hirondelle News Agency