Arusha, March 4, 2010 (FH) - Two new judgments will be delivered in May by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), according to the UN's court calendar.

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The first verdict concerns Yussuf Munyakazi, 75, who was at the time of the 1994 genocide a wealthy farmer in Cyangugu, southwestern Rwanda. He is the oldest detainee of the ICTR.

Munyakazi is charged with genocide and extermination, notably for massacres of Tutsis in Catholic churches in Cyangugu. The prosecutor alleges that he led murderous attacks against Tutsis who had sought refuge in churches in three parishes-- Nyamasheke, Shangi and Mibilizi.

Munyakazi has denied the allegations. When testifying in his own defence, he explained that he had actually sheltered Tutsis under his own roof.

On January 28, Prosecution asked for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for Munyakazi but the Defence wants an outright acquittal of the accused.

The second verdict will be of Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana, who was in 1994 commanding a military camp in Butare, southern Rwanda.

The former officer is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. According to the Prosecution, he was one of the main organizers of Butare's killings. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Chamber still has to hear the closing arguments on April 8 before handing down its sentence in May.

These two ICTR judgments follow two other verdicts delivered in February for Tharcisse Muvunyi and Ephrem Setako who were sentenced to 15 and 25 years respectively.


© Hirondelle News Agency