Arusha, December 14, 2009 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is slated to deliver its judgment in Lieutenant-colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi's re-trial in January.

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According to the ICTR's newsletter, « The chamber continues its deliberations in the judment which is expected in January 2010".

In a first trial, the ex-officer of the Rwandan Armed Forces had been condemned to 25 years in prison. However, the Appeals Chamber overturned the verdict on August 29, 2008 and ordered a new trial.

The remaining charges brought against Tharcisse Muvunyi are "direct and public incitment to commit genocide". He is alleged to have encouraged people to kill Tutsis during a speech he gave in May 2004 at Gikore commercial center, in the southern prefecture of Butare.

The Appeals Chamber stated in its ruling that, if found guilty, Muvunyi should not be given a sentence exceeding 25 years.

Presenting his oral closing arguments on October 2, the Prosecution counsel Ibunokulu Babajide claimed that the accused had used in his speech Kinyarwandan sayings to incite Hutus to kill Tutsis. He requested the maximum sentence. For his part, the American lead defense counsel William Taylor pleaded that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and that the defendant should be acquitted.

The re-trial started on June 17.


© Hirondelle News Agency