Arusha, 11 September 2009 (FH) The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has deferred to 23 September the opening of the defence case of the former sub-prefect, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, accused of 1994 genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The defence was scheduled to start their case on Monday before Presiding Judge Khalida Rachid Khan of Pakistan.

Ntawukulilyayo, who has pleaded not guilty, was sub-prefect of Gisagara in Butare southern Rwanda, during the genocide.

He is accused of having had massacred ethnic Tutsis who had sought refuge on a hill in his administrative entity in 1994.

"Between 21 and 25 April 1994, Ntawukulilyayo gathered soldiers and gendarmes in Butare and transferred them to the Kabuye Hill (in his sub-prefecture) to kill Tutsis who were there", claims the indictment.

"In the same period, he also collected in Butare ammunition which was used by the attackers to kill Tutsis on Kibuye Hill", added the indictment.

The prosecutor called 12 witnesses to support these allegations between 6 and 26 May.   

The former sub-prefect was arrested on 16 October 2007 in Carcassonne, south-western France, on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the ICTR on 21 September, 2007.

He vainly tried to oppose his transfer to the ICTR, a battle which he carried to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Transferred to Arusha in June 2008, Ntawukulilyayo is the third accused handed over by France to this tribunal. In 2000, Paris had transferred to the ICTR the former Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, sentenced to life in prison, and Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, who awaits the verdict of the Chamber.


© Hirondelle News Agency