Arusha, 12 February 2009 (FH) - Defense case in the genocide trial of the former Cabinet Director in the Rwandan Interior Ministry, Calixte Kalimanzira concluded on Wednesday after fielding a total of 43 witnesses, including the accused himself, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The prosecution on the other hand concluded its case on June 30, 2008 after presenting 24 witnesses to support its case.

French defense lead Counsel, Arthur Vercken, told Hirondelle News Agency that the parties are expected to meet on Friday to deliberate on one defense motion after which they would contemplate on the details of closing arguments.

The defendant himself was in the witness box this week for two days claiming that the multi-party system introduced in Rwanda in 1991 was a failure.

He said instead of putting in place good policies and programs, political parties embarked on fighting for power at all costs.

Contrary to the prosecution allegations that the accused practiced ethnicity against Tutsis which led to their mass slaughter in various areas in his native Butare prefecture in 1994, the defendant told the Chamber that he had good relations with Tutsis.

"I treated everyone in the same way. My father had a Tutsi wife; she was like a mother for us, and my youngest sister married a Tutsi", he emphasized during his testimony.

Kalimanzira is also accused of having brought his support to the policies of the interim government, under which the genocide was perpetrated especially after having used, his influence, to incite the massacres of Tutsis in his native region of Butare.


© Hirondelle News Agency