Arusha, 07 December, 2009 (FH) - Prosecution case of the former Rwandan Youth Minister  Callixte Nzabonimana was on Monday suspended for three days at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to allow the deposition of a defence witness in Rwanda whose health is deteriorating.

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The trial was adjourned when the 15th protected prosecution witness code-named CNAE was still giving his evidence.

According to the ruling delivered by Trial Chamber III on October 27, 2009, Judge Mparany Rajohnson, member of the bench will be a presiding officer during deposition taking which is scheduled to be recorded at the current place of location of the witness code-named RW-42, or in Kigali.

Defence had earlier submitted that the testimony of RW-42 was crucial and unique to their case, particularly because some of the prior prosecution statements referred to witness RW-42 as Nzamonimana's main accomplice and allegedly ‘'right-hand man'' in Nyakabanda commune where the accused is purported to have committed the crimes.

‘'Further more in these statements these same prosecution witness have alleged that it was through RW-42, that the accused masterminded the distributions of weapons and mass killings in Nyakabanda commune,'' stated part of the argument advanced by the defence.   

The defence also sought the deposition of RW-42 on the basis of his old age and ill health , both of which contribute for him not to be able to travel to the Tribunal's seat in  Arusha to give his evidence in person before the court.

After the deposition the trial will continue on December 14 up to 17 when it will be adjourned for the session.

Nzabonimana is facing five charges-- genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. He denied the charges.


© Hirondelle News Agency