Arusha, 10 April 2009 (FH) - The judges and parties in the so called  "Military II" trial, in progress before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), will travel to Rwanda next week for a visit of the alleged sites of massacres during the 1994 genocide.

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They are scheduled to visit the capital Kigali, Ruhengeri (northern Rwanda) and finally to Butare (southern Rwanda), reports Hirondelle Agency.

The case, which is among the most important before the ICTR, involves four officers, including the former Chiefs of Staff of Army and the Gendarmerie, General Augustin Bizimungu and General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, respectively.

The two other defendants are: former Commander of Reconnaissance Battalion, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, who commanded a squadron within that unit.

Judges, prosecutors and defence counsels will visit the alleged location where were murdered the ten Belgian peace keepers of the UN force by rampaging Rwandan soldiers.

They will travel on Wednesday to the north for a visit to the Court of Appeal of Ruhengeri, where Tutsis were killed in 1994 on the order, according to the prosecution, of General Bizimungu.

On Thursday, they will head to the south to the former rural house of General Ndindiliyimana, in the former commune of Nyaruhengeri.

The prosecutor alleges that the gendarmes, who secured this house, took part in the genocide in the surroundings.

After the site visit, the parties will present closing arguments between 24 and 26 June.

The parties completed official testimonies in December 2008, but the Chamber reopened the proceedings in February to hear four witnesses with additional evidence.

Accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the four defendants have claimed their innocence.

The trial opened in September 2004.


© Hirondelle News Agency