Arusha, 26 October 2007(FH) - Abbot Emmanuel Rukundo, accused of genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), called his last witness for the defence this week.   

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He, however, does not plan to formally rest his case as long as the question of the arrest of his investigator, held in Rwanda for the last four months, will not have been resolved.
He is, in particular, accused of having pressured BLP, a protected witness from the prosecution.
"They ordered us to file our final conclusions on 6 December but as a long time as we do not have a report on the question of our investigator and the witness for the prosecution BLP suspected of false testimony, we will not file the conclusions", declared a member of the defence team.
The trial of Abbot Rukundo began on 15 November 2006. The prosecutor rested his case on 12 March. He had called 18 witnesses.
Rukundo, for his part, has been calling witnesses for the defence since 9 July. He has called about thirty. He himself testified on is own behalf. Rukundo was a military chaplain in 1994.
Since its creation in November 1994, the ICTR has already indicted four priests. They are, in addition to Rukundo, Hormisdas Nsengimana, former vice-chancellor of the Christ the King College of Nyanza, in the south of the country; and Abbots Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and Athanase Seromba, who officiated respectively the Holy Family parish in Kigali and the parish of Nyange in the west of the country.
Munyeshyaka is in France on standby of a transfer, Nsengimana is presently on trial in Arusha, while Seromba was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in first instance.
Besides the Rukundo case, five others held proceedings during the week. They are Bikindi, Government II, Military II, Karemera and Butare.
Simon Bikindi is a renowned musician accused of incitement to genocide through his songs. His trial has been ongoing since September 2006. He is currently calling witnesses for the defence. This week, he was defended by a linguist who analyzed his songs. Next Tuesday, he should start testifying on his own behalf.
Eugène Shimamungu, a Rwandan, stated that the artist had not sung about hatred against Tutsis, contrary to the allegations of the prosecutor.
The prosecution had also called another linguist, Jean de Dieu Karangwa, also a Rwandan, who had arrived at different conclusions.
In the Government II trial, which involves four former ministers, the tribunal heard the testimony of Dominique Makeli, a former journalist held in Kigali since the end of the genocide.
Makeli was called by the defence of the former minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government in place in 1994, Jérôme Bicamumpaka.
Commenting on the broadcast of speeches by the members of this government, the former journalist with Radio Rwanda qualified them as "messages of pacification".

"We heard them and they gave us hope (...) we understood that among the urgent priorities were the re-establishment of security for people and propriety ", Makeli stated.
The prosecutor alleges that the messages of the interim government encouraged the massacres of Tutsis.
Bicamumpaka also called Basile Nsabumugisha, former prefect of Ruhengeri (northern Rwanda), also held in Rwanda. Basile Nsabumugisha testified, thereafter, in the Military II trial, which involves four officers.
In Karemera, name of the former vice president of the governing party in 1994 on trial alongside two of his colleagues, the lawyers argued, in light of the prosecutor's evidence, several motions including those asking that Kigali, accused of not cooperating with the defence, explained itself before the UN Security Council.
Butare is an area in the south of Rwanda where six natives, including a woman, are accused of genocide. Currently, it is the fifth defendant, the former mayor of Ngoma, Joseph Kanyabashi, who is presenting his defence.
Next week, the Karemera, Government II, Bikindi, Military II and Butare trials will continue.
© Hirondelle News Agency