Arusha, April 28, 2010 (FH) -  Ahlonko Dovi, the Togolese lead defence counsel for genocide-accused Idelphonse Hategekimana has resigned, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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The decision was announced immediately after the counsel presented the defence closing arguments before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday.

Monday this week the defendant refused to attend the trial on grounds that he was not adequately represented by his lead defence counsel and asked the Chamber to withdraw him, a request which was denied by the Chamber.

‘'There is an incompatibility between the two of us. I ask the registry to grant my request to resign because it will be very difficult to work with the accused,'' he added.

The counsel suggested that his co-counsel, another Togolese named  Dovi-Avouyi Ata-Quam, take charge of the case.

Dovi has been Hategekimana lead counsel since September 2004.

Hategekimana has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including genocide, crimes against humanity and rape.

The trial started on March 16, 2009.


© Hirondelle News Agency