29.10.07 - ICTR/RUKUNDO - THE DEFENCE OF RUKUNDO CONFIRMS THAT HE IS NOT ABLE TO REST HIS CASE

  Arusha, 29 Octobre 2007 (FH) - The defence of Father Emmanuel Rukundo, on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) considers that he is not able to rest his case as long as the open investigation following charges of pressuring a witness is not closed.    
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In a letter addressed to the Hirondelle agency, to rectify a 24 October dispatch, one of the lawyers of the priest affirms that his team is not able to rest their case as long as the investigation carried out into allegations of false evidence of a witness called BLP is not closed.
 
This investigation was carried out by a Rwandan lawyer, Jean Haguma, who delivered a first report on 24 this month. Following this report, questions were asked to him, which he has not yet answered. Due to the investigation still underway, the defence cannot, apparently, regard their case as being rested.
 
The chamber requested the defence present a statement of case on 6 December, before the closing arguments scheduled for 12 December. The defence has requested additional time. This trial began on 15 November 2006, the prosecutor rested his case on 12 March 2007. The defence presented its case between 9 July and 22 October.
 
The defence has never refused to conform to a decision of the chamber. It just asked to hear the famous witness BLP and an investigator of its team, Léonidas Nshogoza, prisoner in Rwanda since mid-June where he is accused of having tried to pressure this witness and of genocide denial.

PB/MM
 
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