27.06.08 - ICTR/WEEKLY SUMMARY - EX-TOP RWANDAN OFFICIAL INCITED KILLINGS , CLAIMS WITNESS

Arusha, 27 June 2008 (FH) - A self-confessed genocidaire accused Wednesday the former government senior official, Callixte Kalimanzira ,in a trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), of having incited on several occasions the extermination of ethnic Tutsis in 1994 in the sub-prefecture of Gisagara ,southern Rwanda.

 

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The protected witness code-named" BCN" for his safety, alleged that Kalimanzira spoke at several public meetings between April and June 1994 to encourage Hutus to kill Tutsis and to destroy their houses.

Accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, Kalimanzira, a trained agronomist, has pleaded not guilty. Kalimazira was acting Minister of Interior during the April-July 1994 genocide .His trial began on 5 May. The defence is expected to start their case towards end of October.

This week saw the resumption on Friday of the trial of former Rector of Christ-Roi College Hormisdas Nsengimana after experiencing some shortage of defence witnesses. So far 13 witnesses have testified for the defence out of lined up 29. The defence is expected to close its case before 11 July to allow site visit by the chamber judges between 14 and 17 July to Nyanza Church, site of alleged massacres committed by the accused.

Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, former Commander of Rwandan Reconnaissance Battalion, called Wednesday for his defence a war buddy who testified via videoconference from Cameroon.

Designated by code name "Y1" to protect his identity, the witness, a former officer in the Rwandan army, stated that the defeat of the government forces was foreseeable after resumption of the hostilities on 7 April 1994.

Major Nzuwonemeye is on trial alongside three other officers, including Major General Augustin Bizimungu, the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army from April to July 1994. Prosecuted for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all four have pleaded not guilty. Their trial began in September 2004

General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, former Chief of Staff of Rwandan National Police, Monday concluded his own defence testimony by urging Africans to resolve their problems themselves.

Prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, General Ndindiliyimana, who has pleaded not guilty, had been on the witness stand since last week.

The Trial of the three top former party officials of the then ruling party, MRND, is expected to resume on July 7. The officials are accused of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide. The case, known as "Karemera Trial" is expected to spill over t the next year.

The semi-traditional Rwandan Gacaca courts will start trying next month the alleged authors of rapes committed during the 1994 genocide under an amended law.

The number of the alleged authors of rapes are estimated to be some 6, 808 persons, including some who do not live in Rwanda, according to Izuba, quoting the Executive Secretary of the National Service of the Gacaca Courts (SNJG), Mrs. Domitilla Mukantaganzwa.

Meanwhile, The Rwandan government announced Wednesday new rule which bans persons from bringing food for prisoners beginning I July.

The new measure was announced in Ngoma district, Eastern Province, by the Minister for Internal Security, Mussa Fazil Harerimana.

The state radio quoting Mr Harerimana said that the government considered that the food intake served in the prisons was sufficient. "The back and forth movement of people bringing food to prisoners prevents people from engaging in other productive activities", added Hererimana. However, pregnant or nursing mothers and persons who are ill to which a particular diet has been prescribed by a doctor will be exempted from the new rule.

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