Arusha, 16 September, 2009 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) scheduled October 19 the resumption of the trial of the leaders of the former presidential party, paralyzed for more than a year by the illness of one of the three defendants, it was learned on Wednesday.

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Mathieu Ngirumpatse who has not been present at the hearing for more than 12 months because of his poor health condition, was during the 1994 genocide president of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND).

He is tried alongside the former vice-president of the party, Edouard Karemera, and the former secretary-general, Joseph Nzirorera.

The three men are notably accused of conspiring to commit genocide against Tutsis in 1994, allegations which they have vehemently denied.

"The proceedings will resume on 19 October 2009",  Tribunal's Spokesman, Roland Amoussouga

 told Hirondelle Agency.

After being hospitalized several months in Nairobi (Kenya), the former president of the MRND "is presently in an environment adapted to his particular condition and at his needs in Arusha", according to Amoussouga.

In addition, his motion for provisional release in order to get medical care in a European country "was rejected on 10 September".

At the beginning of March, the Chamber had thought of getting out the stalemate by ordering that the sick defendant be tried later on in a separate trial, when he would be able to attend the hearings, a decision which was fought by all the defence teams.

In June, the Appeals Chamber cancelled the disjoinder of proceedings and returned the case before the first  instance court for new examination on the current situation of the sick defendant.

It is now quite proably that the trial will continue for weeks, even months, into 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency