Montreal, 2 October 2008 (FH) - The defence of genocide-accused Rwandan Desire Munyaneza called Wednesday final witness to testify at the Superior Court of Quebec, which now opens up the way for the closing arguments.

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Before the defence ends its case, the Court must, however, receive the medical examination completed by a doctor, Richard Perras, one of Munyaneza's three lawyers told Hirondelle Agency. According to the lawyer, the medical report was to ascertain the defendant's HIV/AIDS status as had been alleged by certain prosecution witnesses. They had stated to have contracted the AIDS virus from Mr. Munyaneza.

Seven witnesses were heard in September in a closed session.

The defendant's lawyer only stated that a Rwandan woman had testified contrary to what four prosecution witnesses had stated that she had been ‘sexual object' of the accused.

He added that the woman affirmed before to the Court that such a thing had "never happened" to her.

"Such a coincidence is nevertheless astonishing: four witnesses had the same recollection, false, without ever speaking between themselves or knowing each other", stated Perras. The lawyer added that he was going to allege "collusion" in the case.

He said that one of the seven witnesses had stated that IBUKA, an association of genocide survivors, had encouraged him to lie against another person, in another trial, which was, however, not disclosed.

"We do not intend to comment for the moment", said for his part Paul-Alexis Gauthier, one of three Crown lawyers, prosecution in the trial, which opened in January 2007, but the testimonies only began three months later.

A meeting has been scheduled for 7 October between the judge, the prosecution and the defence which will set the dates for the closing arguments.

Son of a rich businessman from Butare, southern Rwanda, Munyaneza arrived in Canada in 1997 with a false Cameroonian passport. He was arrested in 2005 then accused of 1994 genocide, crimes against humanity, rape and looting.


© Hirondelle News Agency