Arusha, April 15, 2010 (FH) - Colonel Théoneste Bagosora and former Minister of Family and Women affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, two prominent detainees of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), will testify in May in Joseph Nzirorera's defence.

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Joseph Nzirorera, a civil engineer, was Secretary General of the ruling party, the MRND, in 1994. He is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He pleads not guilty.

Théoneste Bagosora was the head of the departmental staff - directeur de cabinet - at the Rwandan ministry of Defence in 1994.

He was handed down a life jail sentence on December 18, 2008, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Presented by the Prosecution as the "mastermind" of the Rwandan genocide, he was however acquitted of the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide.

He has lodged an appeal.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko is the first woman indicted for genocide by an international tribunal. She is awaiting the lower court's verdict regarding her case.

According to the order of appearance for remaining witnesses as anticipated on the ICTR website, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko should be called to the stand first.

The witnesses' list also includes historian Ferdinand Nahimana, sentenced to a 30 years term by the ICTR, and Léon Habyarimana, one of late president Juvénal Habyarimana's sons.

Léon Habyarimana is currently living in France.

Nzirorera is being jointly tried with two other former MRND leaders: former MRND President Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and his erstwhile deputy Edouard Karemera.


© Hirondelle News Agency