Arusha, May 25, 2010 (FH) - The trial of former Rwandan minister of Planning Augustin Ngirabatware will continue, at least, until February 2011, Hirondelle News agency gathered on Tuesday.

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The United Nations Security Council has requested the ICTR to wind up its first instance trials before the end of this year.

However, according to a judiciary ruling dated Monday, May 24, Augustin Ngirabatware will open his defence case on November 15 and will be allowed to call witnesses to the stand until February 2011.

Augustin Ngirabatware hails from what used to be the Nyammyumba district, in the Prefecture of Gisenyi (north of Rwanda). He is the son-in-law of a wealthy businessman on the run, Felicien Kabuga, the alleged sponsor of the 1994 genocide.

The former minister was arrested in Germany on September 17, 2007, and has been in ICTR custody since October 8, 2008.

He is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. The Prosecution alleges he launched appeals to kill Tutsis during numerous meetings in his home region in 1994.

He is also accused of having delivered weapons to the Interahamwe and of having used public funds to finance the Hutu militia. He pleads not guilty.

A doctor of economics from the University of Freiburg (Switzerland), Ngirabatware taught at the National University of Rwanda (1986-1990), before he became Minister of Planning (1990-1994).

He fled Rwanda in July 1994 and subsequently worked in various research institutes in Gabon and in France.

At least one other trial, in which three former ruling party leaders are charged with genocide, will also continue after December 31.

Two defendants - Ildephonse Nizeyimana and Grégoire Ndahimana - are still awaiting the opening of their trial, while 13 accused remain on the run.


© Hirondelle News Agency