Arusha, February 19, 2010 (FH) - The judgment of genocide-accused, former Rwandan military officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ephrem Setako which was scheduled to be rendered on February 24, has now been moved forward to February 25.

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The Chamber notified the parties that it was compelled to change the date to accommodate the accused lead defence Counsel, Professor Lennox Hinds who said that he could only be in Arusha, at the Tribunal's seat on the evening of February 24.

The Chamber highly cautioned that in case it happened that Mauled Day (Muslim celebration) was to be celebrated on February 25, then the judgment would be handed down the following day, February 26. If the celebrations were to be held on February 26, there would be no change for the judgment day.

Lt. Col Setako is facing six charges including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He has pleaded not guilty.  

This will be the second judgment delivered by the ICTR this year, after that of Tharcisse Muvunyi, who was sentenced on February 11 to 15 years in jail.

Setako's defence closed its case on June 25, 2009 after fielding a total of 34 witnesses while the Prosecution ended its case on April 22, 2009 after calling 20 witnesses. The parties presented their closing arguments on November 5, 2009.


© Hirondelle News Agency