Arusha, 12 December, 2008 (FH) - The proceedings of four genocide trials with a total number of 15 accused persons which were on going at the International Criminal tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have been adjourned to early next year as the Tribunal rests for end of the year's judicial recess.

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Meanwhile, the UN court has transferred within a week, a total of nine of its 1994 genocide convicts to the republic of Mali to serve their sentences, revealed the ICTR Spokesperson, Roland Amoussouga.
The historian, Professor Ferdinand Nahimana, sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Hassan Ngeze, the former Director of Kangura, an extremist Hutu newspaper, who received a 35-year jail term, arrived in Mali on December 3.

The seven others, including the former ministers of Information, Eliézer Niyitegeka, and that of Higher Education, Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, both sentenced to life in prison, were welcomed in their new prison on December 7.

The nine prisoners joined six other ICTR convicts including the former Prime Minister of the interim government in place during the genocide, Jean Kambanda, also sentenced to life in prison. This first group arrived in Bamako, the Malian capital, in 2001.

The hearing of retrial case against the former Commander of the Rwandan Non-Commissioned Officers Military Academy (ESO), Lieutenant-Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi, will start on January 12, next year, it was learned on Wednesday.

The appellant was found guilty by the court of first instance and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment on September 12, 2006 but the penalty was cancelled by the Appeal Court and ordered a retrial on one count.

The court of first instance earlier found Muvunyi guilty of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and other inhuman acts. The appellate judges ordered a new trial for direct and public incitement to commit genocide on August 29, 2008.

And next Friday, December 18, this Tribunal will hand down two judgments involving five accused persons.

The first one is a joint trial against four former Rwandan military officers including Colonel Theoneste Bagosora who is believed to be the architecture of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and that of Protais Zigiranyirazo, the brother in-law of the former Rwandan President, late Juvenal Habyarimana.


© Hirondelle News Agency