Arusha, 06 November, 2009 (FH) - The hearing of genocide trial of the former Rwandan Minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana, will commence next Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The accused's trial starts after nearly two years since he made an initial appearance.

Nzabonimana is now facing five charges-- genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder-- in the amended indictment signed by ICTR Prosecutor, Hassan Bubacar Jallow on October 4, 2008.

It is alleged that the accused played an important role in the massacres of Tutsis in his native region of Gitarama, central Rwanda.

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

According to the prosecution, many Tutsis were killed following the orders.

Nzabonimana was arrested in Kigoma, Western Tanzania, on February 18, 2008 and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha immediately after.

Two more trials are pending before the UN Court. These are of former Mayor Gregoire Ndahimana, who was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last August; and ex-Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, who was apprehended in Uganda last month.

The two have already made their initial appearances before the Tribunal and pleaded not guilty.

With only 13 months left before the  UN Tribunal shuts down, 11 accused, out of whom three are considered to be big fishes by the ICTR Prosecutor,are still on the run.

They include rich Rwandan businessman, Felicien Kabuga, the alleged financer of the genocide; former Minister for Defence, Augustin Bizimana; and Major Protais Mpiranya, former Commander of Presidential Guards (GP).

Kabuga is alleged to be in Kenya. The former minister is allegedly holed up in the DRC and  Mpiranya is said to be in Zimbabwe.


© Hirondelle News Agency