Arusha, 11 December, 2008 (FH) - The former head of the gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, has just been granted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) authorization to call five extra witnesses for his defence and recall to the stand four prosecution witnesses next February.

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The decision posted on the ICTR website was meant to be a relief to the General for the prosecutor's failure to hand over to the defence of the accused exculpatory materials relevant to the trial. Prosecutor was reprimanded by the Chamber on September 22.

On October 6, the defence team of the General Ndindiliyimana filed a motion aiming at recalling 20 prosecution witnesses as well as calling 12 new defence witnesses.

The accused is defended by the Canadian Christopher Black and Belgian Vincent Lurquin.

Following the decision the Chamber also ordered the Prosecutor to facilitate the travel of the nine witnesses to the ICTR, ready for testimonies scheduled from 16 to 27 February, next year.

Ndindiliyimana is on trial with three other officers of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF), including the former chief of staff of the Army, General Augustin Bizimungu.

Accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, they have all pleaded not guilty.

Officially, the trial ended on 4 December.

The closing arguments are scheduled for June 2009, after a trip to Rwanda in April.The trial opened in September 2004.


© Hirondelle News Agency