Arusha, November 25, 2009 (FH) - The defence case of the former Secretary General of then Rwandan ruling party in 1994(MRND),  Joseph Nzirorera was on Wednesday adjourned to January 18, 2010, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), presided by Judge Dennis Byron, adjourned the case after having heard 12 defence witnesses. Nzirorera's defence case started on October 23.

The accused's lead defence counsel, Peter Robinson told Hirondelle Agency shortly after adjournment that his team expected  to field 27 witnesses in the next session out of the planned 55.

The prosecution concluded its case on December 4, 2007 after presenting a total of 25 witnesses.

Other accused in this joint trial are MRND ex-president Mathieu Ngirumpatse and former MRND vice-president, Edouard Karemera. Karemera has already completed his defence case.  All three have pleaded not guilty.

Nzirorera and his two colleagues are charged mainly with crimes committed by members of their party.

The Prosecution has indicted them for their superior responsibility as top officials of the MRND, the party then in power under former President Juvenal Habyarimana. Habyarimana was killed when his plane was brought down as it was approaching the capital, Kigali, by unknown assailants on 6 April, 1994-- which sparked off the genocide.


© Hirondelle News Agency