Arusha, November 27, 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 expects 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 the 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.

Meanwhile, Genocide-accused former Rwandan Deputy Governor, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, will testify for his own defence on December 8.

Ntawukulilyayo is charged with genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide in the southern Gisagara sub-prefecture, where he was the Deputy Governor in 1994. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Presiding Judge Khalida Khan said the accused was earlier scheduled to be in the dock on November 23, but the appearance had to be rescheduled after taking into consideration defence concerns that it has not yet prepared the defendant for his own defence.

She also added that some important materials were not yet translated into the language understood by the accused.

The Chamber has ordered that the translations be submitted by November 30 and the case was adjourned. So far 22 defence witnesses have testified. The prosecution completed its case after calling 12 witnesses between May 6 and 26, 2009.

Another trial of genocide accused Callixte Nzabonimana has been mostly in a closed session. It continues next week.


© Hirondelle News Agency