Arusha, 23 April 2009 (FH) - The trial of three former leaders of the then Rwandan presidential party, prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was adjourned Wednesday to next Monday due to lack of witnesses.

0 min 51Approximate reading time

The proceedings were suspended at the end of the testimony of a Rwandan linguist, Leon Mugesera, who testified via videoconference from Canada.

At the resumption, the Chamber will initially hear two prosecution witnesses recalled to the stand at the request of the former Secretary-General of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND), Joseph Nzirorera.

Thereafter, the former vice-president of the MRND, Edouard Karemera, will resume his defence case until 29 May.

Karemera, during this session, is expected to call his eight remaining witnesses.

The trial continues in the absence of the former president of the party, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, confined to bed since August 2008.

Ngirumapatse had sought for temporary release to be able to seek medical treatment in a European country, but the request was rejected.

Seized of the case, the Appeal Chamber ordered that the request be reconsidered by the same Chamber.

The decision was still awaited.

The proceedings in the case began on 19 September 2005. The prosecution rested its case on 4 December 2007. On 7 April 2008, Karemera, the first to present his defence case, called his first witness.


© Hirondelle News Agency