Arusha, April 14, 2010 (FH) - The defence case of the former Rwandan Youth minister, Callixte Nzabonimana commenced Wednesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) amid allegations that the prosecution did not conduct proper investigation.

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Presenting his opening remarks, the accused French lead defence Counsel, Vincent Courcelle-Labrouse told the court that had the office of the prosecutor done its work properly and according to the law, there would not be any case against Nzabonimana.

‘'The prosecution was lazy. It did not do its work accordingly,'' remarked the Counsel during his presentation.

He said although several prosecution witnesses were fielded before the Chamber, the office of the Prosecutor did not take the trouble to go and verify the evidence given from where the alleged crimes were purportedly committed.

‘'The testimonies were deliberately concocted,'' he told the Chamber presided by Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa from Uganda.

The defence attorney charged that it was not possible for the man (Nzabonimana) who was all along a good man, to suddenly change after the plane crash which killed former President, Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994 to become a killer and distributor of weapons.   

He said his team would bring in witnesses to prove to the contrary to what had been presented by prosecution witnesses including the alibi ones.

The defence is expected to present 30 witnesses in defence of their client. The first witness code-named ‘'T5'' to protect his identity began testifying immediately after the opening statement.

Meanwhile the prosecution had rested its case on Tuesday after presenting a total of 19 witnesses.

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


© Hirondelle News Agency