Arusha, 6 June 2008(FH)-The President and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) this week presented their six-monthly progress report respectively before the Security Council over the UN Court's exit strategy for the first instance trials as ordered by end of December, 2008.

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The Prosecutor, Justice Hassan Jallow, argued that due to three latest arrests and to allow smooth conclusion of pending trials, the tribunal be granted an additional one year.

President Justice Dennis Byron said that seven permanent and eight ad litem (temporary) judges could progressively dispose of remaining cases during 2009. Two permanent and one ad litem judges will complete their assigned cases and resign by November, 2008. There will be no replacement, he added.

In another development, the former Rwandan Deputy Governor, Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, was brought to Arusha from France on Thursday evening to face charges of 1994 genocide and crimes against humanity.

"The accused will make an initial appearance before ICTR early next week," Dr Tim Gallimore, the spokesman of the Prosecutor told independent Hirondelle Agency Friday.

The ICTR indictment alleges that acts of Ntawukuriryayo led to killings of not less than 25, 000 ethnic Tutsi refugees on Kabuye Hill, Butare Province, Southern Rwanda, between 21 and 25 April 1994.

The trial of Hormisdas Nsengimana, the third Catholic Priest to appear before ICTR, started his defence case Monday,

Rector of the Christ the King College in Nyanza ,southern Rwanda, in 1994, the 54 years old clergy, is accused of genocide, murder and extermination, crimes to which he has pleaded not guilty.

The lead defence counsel, Emmanuel Altit, claimed that the indictment of the priest was directed at "indicting the (catholic) church as an institution".

The American civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson, in Arusha for the 8th Leon Sullivan Summit, took time off to visit the ICTR and attended briefly one of the sessions of the ongoing trial of Government II.

According to ICTR Spokesman, Roland Amoussouga, a delegation of African-American also held discussions with the Deputy Registrar, Everard O'Donnell.

The team was made up of influential US politicians, business and civil rights leaders, including Ambassador Andrew Young, former US representative at the UN; Jendayi Frazer, the Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, Dirk Kempthorne ,US secretary of the Interior and John Simon, Executive vice president of the Washington-based Overseas Private Investment.

The Butare Trial, largest and longest, proceeded during the week with the defence of Elie Ndayambaje, Mayor of Muganza. He is accused, alongside five other former leaders, of genocide and crimes against humanity. They all have pleaded not guilty.

A renowned Hirondelle journalist, Augustin Twagirayezu (47) was laid to rest at Njiro cementry, on the outskirts of Arusha town, on Thursday. The deceased passed away last Friday morning as he was heading to his office. Among those who paid glowing tribute to the late Twagirayezu included founder of Swiss-based Hirondelle, Philippe Dahinden. The ICTR President, justice Dennis Byron, Prosecutor Hassan Jallow and Registrar Adama Dieng were represented at the funeral by the ICTR's spokesman, Roland Amoussouga. The deceased is survived by a widow and a daughter. The daughter, Pendo, coincidentally reached the age of 15 on the day of her father's funeral.


© Hirondelle News Agency