05.12.07 - ICTR/KAREMERA - THE PROSECUTION CONSIDERED RESTED IN THE MRND TRIAL

Aruha, 5 December 2007 (FH) - The chamber which is presiding the proceedings in the Karemera trial decided that the evidence presented since September 2005 by the prosecution was enough for the case and ordered that the defence start presenting their case next session. These decisions were announced to the parties Wednesday morning during a status conference inaccessible to the public. The next hearing should be held on 3 March, the defendants presenting their case in the order of the indictment: Edouard Karemera, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Joseph Nzirorera.

  

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The three men who directed the National Republican Movement for Development (MRND, former single party) are accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecutor, by presenting about thirty witnesses, tried to prove their implication in the preparations of the genocide; particularly with the creation of the youth section of the MRND, the Interahamwe, which took an active role in the massacres.

Faced with a very pugnacious defence, the prosecution was denounced on several occasions for delays in the communication of the documents or the disclosure of the identity of witnesses. Judge Dennys Byron, who also presides the tribunal, prohibited them from introducing expert witnesses considering that their arguments were known. The prosecutor appealed this decision.

This trial which had to be annulled after several months of proceedings, is scheduled to last beyond the limits of the ICTR mandate, announced for the end of 2008. President Byron has already asked that the proceedings be allowed to continue until the end of the first quarter of 2009.

  

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