Arusha, 10 July 2009 (FH) - The trial of former businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga, one of the five accused of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) still awaiting to appear, will begin on 31 August, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The prosecutor will have until 18 September to present his case, according to a judicial calendar of the Tribunal.

Kanyarukiga started business activities in Kigali and in his native prefecture of Kibuye, western Rwanda.

Prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity, he faces charges relating to crimes committed in Kibuye, especially in the Nyange Church where thousands of ethnic Tutsis were killed and later buried by a bulldozer in April 1994.

According to the indictment signed on 5 December 2001 by the former ICTR prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, the defendant was part of the instigators of this massacre.

The prosecutor alleges that several other persons from Kibuye, including Priest Athanase Seromba, who was sentenced to life in prison, played a part in the killings at Nyange.

Kanyrukiga, who is defended by the Canadian David Jacobs and the Rwandan Claver Sindayigaya, will appear before a Chamber presided by the Jordanian Taghrid Hikmet.

Led by the Tanzanian Holo Makwaia, the prosecution team is comprised of three other members, including Rwandan Didace Nyirinkwaya.

Poorly educated, Kanyarukiga is of relatively less importance compared to the four other prisoners whose trials have not yet started-- the former ministers Augustin Ngirabatware and Callixte Nzabonimana, former head of the tea company, Michel Bagaragaza, and the former Mayor Jean Baptiste Gatete.

A brilliant economist trained in Switzerland, Ngirabatware is also the son-in-law of the most wanted of the 13 accused who are at large, billionaire Felicien Kabuga, who allegedly financed the genocide.


© Hirondelle News Agency