Arusha, 3 November 2008 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will render on 18 December its verdict in the trial of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, alleged mastermind of the 1994 genocide, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Bagosora is on trial with former head of military operations at the joint staff of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi, former Commander of Gisenyi sector (northern Rwanda), Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, and former Commander of para military commando, Major Aloys Ntabakuze. Their trial started in April 2002 and has been in deliberation since June 2007.

On trial for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the four defendants have pleaded not guilty.

The ICTR prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, had asked the judges to find the defendants guilty of the crimes charged against them.

"They prepared, planned, ordered, directed, incited, encouraged and approved the murder of innocent civilian Tutsis; men, women, children and others considered as accomplices", claimed Jallow. Going after Bagosora in particularly, he had also accused him of having ordered murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers, with an aim, according to him, to force withdrawal of the United Nations force and thus to leave the stage open to the killing machine.

Expressing himself on 1 June 2008, Bagosora had requested the judges "to rehabilitate him", affirming to currently being a "victim of a wretched campaign" carried out by the former rebellion of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), currently in power.


© Hirondelle News Agency