Arusha, March 30, 2010 (FH) --The defence team of the former Rwandan Director in the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs Jean Baptiste Gatete Monday rested its case before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after fielding a total of 27 witnesses.

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Prosecution concluded its case on November 16, 2009 after presenting 22 witnesses.   

The defendant is facing charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the former prefectures of Kibungo, eastern Rwanda and Byumba north-eastern Rwanda.

Following discussions among the parties, the chamber ruled that there should be site visits to Rwanda between June 10 and 16, 2010.

Judge Khan also ordered both parties to file their written closing briefs by June 25 and oral arguments are scheduled for July 13.

The trial started on October 20, 2009.

The prosecution among others alleged that the defendant participated in the attacks against Tutsis in his own home commune of Murambi (Byumba prefecture) and in Rukira and Kayonza communes (Kibungo prefecture) in 1994 where thousands of Tutsis were killed.

Rwanda marks 16th genocide anniversary this week. The anniversary includes prayers for about 800,000 people who were killed in the April-July slaughter. The week climaxes on April 7.

Trial Chamber II will on April 8 start hearing the closing arguments in the genocide case of the former Rwandan Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana.   

Accused of genocide, complicity to genocide, murder and rape, the army officer who commanded the small military camp of Ngoma, Butare, southern Rwanda, in 1994, has been accused of personally directing murderous attacks against ethnic Tutsis and rapes.


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