Arusha, 13 July, 2009 (FH) - Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Monday adjourned the defence case of the former Rwandan Military officer, Lt. Idelphonse Hategekimana on trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, to September 23, 2009.

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Earlier, Togolese lead defence counsel, Ahlonko Dovi, told the Chamber that he had already presented a total of 12 defence witness out of 25 earmarked since the case commenced on June 22, 2009.   

A native of Mugina, in the former prefecture of Gitarama ,central Rwanda, Hategekimana, has pleaded not guilty to all charges of 1994 genocide and crimes against humanity. He was part of the five accused that the ICTR prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow, had sought in vain to transfer to Rwandan courts.

Other military officers also being tried by the Tribunal include two former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, General Augustin Bizimungu and that of the Gendarmerie National, Augustine Ndindiliyimana,former Rwandan Reconnaissance Battalion Commander, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and his Deputy, Captain Innocent Sagahutu, whose oral closing arguments were concluded last month.

Last December, three senior military officers were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment whereas one was acquitted. Those convicted were former Cabinet Director in the Ministry of Defence, Col. Theoneste Bagosora, Lt. Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, former Commander of Military Sector of Gisenyi (northern Rwanda), and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, who commanded Para commando battalion.

Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi, former Chief of Military Operations was acquitted.


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