Witnesses for the defence have been heard since October 18, 2009.
A ruling dated May 14 and published on the ICTR website reads: "The Chamber reminds [Joseph] Nzirorera that he has to close his defence case before July 1st and that Mathieu Ngirumpatse will open his defence on July 5, 2010".
Nzirorera is being jointly tried with two other leaders of the former ruling party, the MRND: one-time MRND President Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and his erstwhile deputy Edouard Karemera. Charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, all three men plead not guilty.
The trio is mainly accused of crimes committed by members of their party. The Prosecution invokes their "superior responsibility" as top officials.
The defendants claim that no link of subordination can be established between them and the actual perpetrators of the killings.
For his defence, Nzirorera mainly called upon ICTR convicts or defendants, including the only woman indicted by the ICTR, former Minister for Family and Women Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko.
Recently, Nzirorera requested the hearing of the tribunal's most famous detainee, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, who serves a lifetime conviction. However, the former officer of the Rwandan Army has not yet testified, pending the arrival in Arusha of his lawyer Raphael Consant.
© Hirondelle News Agency