Arusha, February 12, 2010 (FH) - Former Rwandan politician Joseph Nzirorera, who is on trial before the Intenational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), will call upon at least seven more ICTR detainees for his defence, his lawyers told Hirondelle News Agency on Friday.

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"Prosecution witnesses claimed that in 1994 Nzirorera was with one or the other of these men in specific places in Rwanda", Nzirorea's Lead defence counsel Peter Robinson explained.

Three ICTR inmates have already testified in this case.

Among the upcoming witnesses are three detainees of the UN detention facility in Arusha: Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, sentenced to life in jail in December 2008, who is awaiting his Appeal trial; Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, also convicted to life in prison pending his Appeal trial; and Lieutenant-Colonel Ephrem Setako, whose sentence has not yet been pronounced.   

Former minister of Information Eliezer Niyitegeka, former Mayor of Bicumbi Laurent Semanza, former Vice-President of the Interahamwe Georges Rutaganda and the former editor of the extremist newspaper Kangura, Hassan Ngeze, are all expected to be summoned to appear before the court. They are currently serving their sentences either in Mali or Benin.

Joseph Nzirorera was Secretary General of the ruling party, the MRND, in 1994. He is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He pleads not guilty.

Counsel Peter Robinson has already called to the stand 25 witnesses. He intends to call upon thirty more before closing his defence in June.


© Hirondelle News Agency