05.03.10 - ICTR/NZABONIMANA - NZABONIMANA'S DEFENCE DIRECTED TO REDUCE NUMBER OF WITNESSES

Arusha, March 05, 2010 (FH) - The International Criminal for Rwanda (ICTR) Friday directed the defence team of genocide-accused former Rwandan Minister for Youth Callixte Nzabonimana to reduce their number of witnesses, reports Hirondelle Agency.
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Ugandan Judge Solomy Barungi Bossa made the order Friday during a status conference in which prosecution led by Memory Maposa from Zimbabwe complained that a list of 162 defence witnesses proposed in the pre-trial brief was too big compared to the 20 witnesses called upon by the Prosecution.

‘'We don't need repetitious or redundant witnesses,'' Judge Bossa stressed.

Meanwhile, the defence case of Nzabonimana is expected to commence on March 29 or April 12, depending on the status of an on-going case in another Chamber involving Ex-Minister of Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware.

Judge Bossa told the parties that two judges assigned to Nzabonimana's trial including herself and Madagascan Mparany Rajohnson were also members of on going trial of the accused Ngirabatwara which is expected to conclude its prosecution case on March 19.

She said if that happened then Nzabonima's defence case would commence on March 29 but if not it would be shifted to April 12 session which would run until June 5.

Prosecution counsel in Ngirabatware's trial, Wallace Kapaya told Hirondelle News Agency Friday that he still have five witnesses in his list and sounded optimistic that they could  all finish their testimony if parties in the trial stick to the time allocated for examination in-chief and cross examination.

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

NI/SC/GF

© Hirondelle News Agency