Arusha, May 14, 2010 (FH) - Two defence proceedings continued this week before the Arusha-based  International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) involving Joseph Nzirorera, former Secretary General of then Rwandan ruling party in 1994,  MRND, and that of ex-Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana.

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In Nzirorera's case, three defence witnesses testified on Wednesday, including his two daughters, Aurore Uwase (30) and Flora Kalisa (32). The two daughters separately backed their father's defence of alibi.

They claimed that the day Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed on April 6, 1994 their father was at their home at Remera in Kigali, and not in Mukingo Commune, Northern Rwanda,  as alleged by the prosecution.

They claimed that they only left the following day together with their father to Kiyovu area, also in Kigali city. The daughters, who are living in exile in Europe, also alleged that they had sought refuge at the residence of genocide-convict Lt. Col. Ephrem Setako until April 11, 1994.

During the time in question the prosecution alleges that Nzirorera was at his Mukingo commune busy inciting the population to exterminate ethnic-Tutsis.

Nzirorera is jointly tried with two other senior MRND leaders --President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Vice-President Edouard Karemera. Karemera has already completed his defence case.

The trial continues on Monday.

As was the case last week, the defence case of genocide-accused Nzabonimana continued in closed session.

Eleven defence witnesses have already testified and the case continues on Monday.


© Hirondelle News Agency