04.01.08 - ICTR/RWANDA - FOUR TRIALS SCHEDULED FOR ICTR IN JANUARY

Arusha, 4 January 2008 (FH) - Four trials are scheduled to resume at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda during the second half of January.
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The trial of Hormisdas Nsengimana, a priest accused of genocide and extermination, will resume on 14 January before the first chamber. Defended by Counsel Emmanuel Altit, Nsengimana has been on trial since 22 June 2007. The first hearing had lasted just a few days.

The Military II trial will resume on 16 January. It had been suspended in December after the testimony of General Augustin Bizimungi, former chief of staff of Rwandan army.

The chamber, however, had authorized the accused to call three additional witnesses, common with two of his three co-defendants.

One of them is the French historian Bernard Lugan. It is now the turn of the former chief of staff of the gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, to call his defence witnesses. This trial began in September 2004.

On 21 January, the largest Butare trial will resume.

Judge William Sekule had during the last hearing expressed the wish that the defence case of Joseph Kanyabashi, former mayor of Ngoma commune, be completed by the end of April and the defence rests its case by July.

This phase of the trial began on 31 January 2005. The proceedings are continuously delayed by conflicts of interest between the defendants.

The Government II trial will resume on 28 January.

At the same time, the transfer requests filed by the prosecutor of five accused to be tried before Rwandan courts are still awaiting chamber decisions. The amicus curiae filed, which supposes a response of the parties, has apparently delayed the decisions of the chambers, it has been reliably learnt.

Meanwhile, In France, the Court of Appeal of Paris should render its decision on 30 January on the trial of Abbot Wenceslas Munyeshyaka , former prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta.

The ICTR announced on 21 November its decision to refer the case to France.

PB/SC
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