Arusha, October 30, 2009 (FH) - November will be a busy month at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), starting with the much expected sentence in the Bagaragaza's trial on November 5.

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 Michel Bagaragaza, the former head of the Rwandan Tea Authority,  acknowledged his "complicity in genocide" on September 17, as a result of plea bargaining with the Prosecution. But his counsels still wants to make a case for extenuating circumstances before the court announces its verdict.

Also on November 5, closing arguments in the trial of Lieutenant Colonel Ephrem Setako will be heard. Setako, who was the Director of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Defence in 1994 and is prosecuted for genocide and crimes against humanity, pleads not guilty.

A graduate of the National Military School (ESM) in Kigali, he is charged with crimes committed in Kigali and in his native prefecture of Ruhengeri, in northern Rwanda.

A few days later, on November 9, starts the trial of the former Rwandan minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana. His case has been stalled for 21 months after his initial appearance.

Nzabonimana faces charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder.  According to the indictment, he played an important role in the massacres of Tutsis in his home region of Gitarama, in central Rwanda.

''On more than one occasion between April and July 1994 in Gitarama prefecture, Callixte Nzabonimana encouraged the population to first kill the Tutsis and then take their belongings,'' the indictment reads.

Finally, on November 16, the Higher Court is slated to deliver its judgment in the appeal case of Protais Zigiranyirazo, a brother in-law of the late Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana,

Zigiranyirazo was convicted on December 18, 2008, to 20 years in prison for having been found guilty of genocide and extermination. During his appeal hearing on September 28, the defendant pleaded that he had been convicted for guilt by association as a member of the former President's family.


© Hirondelle News Agency