Arusha, 08 October, 2009 (FH) - Former Rwandan sub-prefect, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, is halfway in presenting his defence witnesses before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), where he is facing charges of genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Ntawukulilyayo, a former sub-prefect of Gisagara (Butare prefecture, southern Rwanda) in 1994, has protested his innocence since he started his defence on September 23.

Maroufa Diabira, lead defence counsel for the accused, told Hirondelle Agency on Thursday that a total of fourteen witnesses have already been presented and that twelve more are expected to testify - two in this session and the rest when the trial resumes.

This session is expected to be adjourned next week to mid-November.

The former administrative officer is accused of having ordered massacres of Tutsis, who took refuge at Kabuye Hill in his sub-prefecture between April 21 and 25, 1994.

Diabira alleges that his client had no powers to stop the massacres and that he was being prosecuted ‘'because of the position he held during the genocide.''

Ntawukulilyayo 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 of the same year. 


© Hirondelle News Agency