Arusha, 15 May 2008 (FH) - The trial of three former top leaders of the National Republican Movement for Democracy (MRND), ex-presidential party, was Wednesday adjourned to 30 June, reports Hirondelle Agency.

0 min 52Approximate reading time

At the time of adjournment, the defence of Edouard Karemera, former Vice President of MRND, was presenting their witnesses. Eight witnesses had testified in the session.

According to the defendant's lead Counsel Dior Diagne, approximately 65 witnesses are expected to appear for his client. The prosecution presented 28 witnesses, of which 26 were prisoners detained in Rwanda.

The last witness, a Belgian doctor known only by code "TZL" to protect his safety, could not testify because he was victim of a robbery in a hotel room he was staying shortly before his testimony. He will be re-called during the next session. .

The joint trial includes two other top leaders -- MRND President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and the party's Secretary General Joseph Nzirorera. All three are accused of genocide and crimes against humanity and have pleaded not guilty. It started in September 2005.

The initial proceedings were cancelled due to alleged suspicion of complicity between a judge and a member of the prosecution team.

Presided by Dennis Byron, who is also President of the tribunal, the trial was due to last beyond 31December 2008, the date scheduled by the UN Security Council to complete all first instance ICTR trials


© Hirondelle News Agency