Arusha, 1 February, 2008 (FH) The closing arguments in the trials of former Mayor of Kigali Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho and former Military Chaplain Emmanuel Rukundo are set for February before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), reports Hirondelle News Agency.

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The closing argument in Renzaho's case has been fixed for 14 and 15 February. Rukundo's closing argument would start on 20 February.

Arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in September 2002, Renzaho has been on trial since 8 January 2007. The proceedings were adjourned last September.

He is accused of ethnic Tutsi massacres at the Church of the Holy Family, Church of Saint Paul and Centre for the Study of African Languages (CELA) during the 1994 genocide, which according to UN estimates claimed lives of about 800,000 in Rwanda. Renzaho has pleaded not guilty.

Rukundo, who is accused of massacres in his area of Gitarama, central Rwanda, was arrested in Switzerland in July 2001. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial has been in progress since 15 November 2006.

Rukundo is one of the four catholic priests indicted by the ICTR.

Athanase Seromba, former vicar at the parish of Nyange, in western Rwanda, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in December, last year. He has appealed against the sentence.

The others are Abbot Hormisdas Nsengimana, vice-chancellor of the College of Christ the King of Nyanza, in the south, awaiting judgment; and Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, vicar at the parish of the Holy Family in Kigali, awaiting his trial in France.

Currently three trials are in progress at the UN Court -- Butare, Military II, Government II and Hormisdas Nsengimana (former head of Christ Roi College).

Butare is the oldest and the largest trial of six defendants. It started in June 2001. Currently, the fifth defendant is presenting his defence case.

The "Military II" trial involves four high ranking soldiers, including two former chiefs of staff. The second defendant is presenting his case. The trial started in September 2004.

The "Government II" trial involves four former ministers in the interim government during the genocide. It started in November 2003. The third defendant is arguing his case.

The Nsengimana trial started in June 2007. The prosecution is about to rest its case.

© Hirondelle News Agency