Arusha, 25 April, 2008 (FH) - The trial of Rwanda's then acting Interior Minister during the 1994 genocide, Calixte Kalimanzira, which was scheduled to start towards end of this month, has been postponed until further notice.

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A brief statement Friday from Chief of Press and Communications of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr Bocar Sy, did not give reasons for the postponement. The trial was planned to start on 28 April. However, Hirondelle Agency learnt from its sources that there was problem in the composition of the chamber.

Kalimanzira (53), who in November, last year, surrendered to the United Nations tribunal has denied charges that he directly participated in the slaughter that was orchestrated by the then-extremist government from the Hutu ethnic majority. According to United Nations estimates, about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the April-July slaughter.

Prosecution claims that Kalimanzira directly participated in the killings of hundreds of Tutsis who fled their homes in Butare province, in southern Rwanda. Prosecutors also allege that as acting interior minister, Kalimanzira supervised and trained the Interahamwe.

Since June 2007, there has not been any new trial at the UN Court. The last was of Rector of Christ-Roi Church, Hormisdas Nsengimana, which started on 22 June.

Established in 1994, the ICTR, headquartered in Arusha, northern Tanzania, has to date, delivered 30 convictions and 5 acquittals.


© Hirondelle News Agency