Arusha, May 06, 2010 (FH) - Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will hear the closing arguments in the case of the former Rwandan Director in the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs between May 17 and 18, according to the revised judicial calendar.

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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).

The defence rested its case on March 29, 2010 after fielding 27 witnesses whereas the prosecution concluded the same on November 16, 2009 after presenting 22 witnesses.

Jean Baptiste Gatete was Mayor of Murambi commune from 1987 until June 1993. He was a member of the National Congress of the MRND (the party in power under President Habyarimana). He was active in party politics both at the national and the prefecture level.

He was dismissed as mayor in 1993 amidst allegations that he persecuted Tutsis of Murambi. He was then appointed Director in the Ministry of Family and Women Affairs.

According to the prosecution, Gatete continued to hold influence over local police, gendarmes and militiamen in the Byumba and Kibungo prefectures.

The Tribunal also set another closing arguments hearing in the trial of genocide-accused former Rwandan businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga on May 24. The defence wrapped its case on February 12 after presenting a total of 22 witnesses whereas the prosecution completed its case on September 17 after fielding eleven witnesses.

Another case which will have its closing arguments heard on June 3, is that of Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, former Rwandan Deputy Governor of Gisagara in the former province of Butare , South Rwanda.

The defence concluded fielding a total of 23 witnesses on December 18, 2009 and the prosecution rested its case on May, 26, the same year.


© Hirondelle News Agency