Arusha, 15 June 2009 (FH) - The trial of former Rwandan military officer, Lt. Col. Ephrem Setako, charged for genocide and crimes against humanity resumed, Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with the testimony of the 25th defence witness.

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The protected witness code-named ‘'MCR'' for security reasons, was arrested for genocide charges in 1996 and prosecuted by the Rwandan semi-traditional courts known as  gacaca, but was acquitted and released in 2007.

Led in Examination-in-Chief by Setako's lead American defence counsel, Professor Lennox Hinds, the witness acknowledged to have met the accused way back in 1992 during a burial ceremony in Rwanda, but never saw him again.

Prof. Hinds is expected to field at least 10 last defence witnesses, including the defendant himself. Prosecution ended its case on April 22, 2009 after presenting a total of 20 witnesses.

ICTR prosecution counsel, Ifeoma Ojemini-Okali, cross examined the witness after the evidence in chief.

Lt. Col Setako is facing six charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He has denied the charges.

The case presided by Judge Erik Mose of Trial Chamber I, continues on Tuesday.


© Hirondelle News Agency