24.09.07 - ICTR/NSHAMIHIGO - END OF TESTIMONIES IN THE TRIAL OF A FORMER MAGISTRATE

Arusha, 24 September 2007 (FH) - The last witness in the trial of Siméon Nshamihigo, a former magistrate accused of genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), appeared Friday.
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Nshamihigo, 47, was a substitute for the prosecutor in Cyangugu, in south-western Rwanda, in 1994. He is being prosecuted for massacres of Tutsis in his area. He has pled not guilty.

His trial began on 25 September 2006. The prosecution rested its case on 29 January 2007 after having called 24 witnesses.

The defence started presenting its case on 25 April. It called 36 witnesses.

Nshamihigo is being tried before the third chamber of first instance of the ICTR presided by Judge Dennis Byron (Saint-Kitts and Nevis), also president of the ICTR.

The chamber also includes Burkinabean Judge Gustave Kam and Czech Judge Robert Fremr.

The parties will file their statements of case on 3 December. The judges will later decide on the date for the closing arguments.

Nshamihigo is defended by two Canadian lawyers, Denis Turcotte and Henri Benoît. The prosecution team, for its part, is led by the Ivorian lawyer Alphonse Van.

Nshamihigo was arrested on 19 May 2001 as he investigated for the defence of a defendant before the ICTR, the former commander of the Karambo military camp in Cyangugu, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe, sentenced to twelve years in prison.

AT/PB/MM
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