Arusha, 17 July, 2009 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday handed down  lifeimprisonment on the former Rwandan Governor of Kigali, TharcisseRenzaho, 65, for inciting and participating in the killings of ethnic Tutsis during the 1994 genocide.

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The three-bench presiding Norwegian Judge, Erik Mose, concluded that the accused was guilty of crimes committed in Rwanda.

In an approximately half-an-hour judgementbefore a packed gallery, Judge Mose, for example said that the accused played a crucial role in the annihilation of more than 100 ethnic Tutsis who had sought refuge at the Sainte FamilleChurch.

This is the third judgementdelivered for this year.

The ICTR has so far convicted 40 persons and acquitted six. Trials are underway in eleven cases, involving 24 accused persons.

In another development, the Trial Chamber II Monday adjourned the defencecase of the former Rwandan Military officer, Lt. IdelphonseHategekimanaon trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, to September 23, 2009.

Earlier, Togolese lead defencecounsel, AhlonkoDovi, told the Chamber that he had already presented a total of 12 defencewitness out of 25 earmarked since the case commenced on June 22, 2009.   

Meanwhile, the former Minister for Planning, AugustinNgirabatware, prosecuted for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, has discharged his lead lawyer, American David Thomas, just as the opening of his trial is scheduled for 3 August.

A Tribunal source disclosed that British Peter Herbert has now been designated by the Registry to replace the American professor.

Reportedly the American professor was turned down on grounds that the accused lacked confidence on his lawyer and allegedly the two lacked communication.

The former minister, 51, is accused of having used public funds to finance the activities of the Interahamwemilitiamen, main armed element of the genocide.

The trial has already been deferred twice.

The accused is also the son-in-law of the alleged financier of the genocide, the wealthy Rwandan businessman FelicienKabuga, still at large, less than two years before the closure of the ICTR.

Next week there will be no trials as the Tribunal has begun mid-year vacation.


© HirondelleNews Agency