Arusha, May 28, 2010 (FH) -Three trials continued before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) this week, including the case against former Rwandan businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga which came to an end after closing arguments.

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Tanzanian Prosecutor Holo Makwaia told the Tribunal that the most appropriate sentence for Kanyarukiga was imprisonment for the remainder of his life for, among others, organizing the killing of 2,000 Tutsi refugees hosted in Nyange Church in Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda in 1994.

However, Canadian lead defence Counsel, David Jacobs, argued that his client deserved to be freed because of the prosecution's failure to prove its case.

Other cases heard involved Joseph Nzirorera, Ex-Secretary General of MRND party and Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana.

In Nzirorera's trial, the defence hearing was adjourned to June 7 in the middle of the defendant's cross-examination by the prosecution because Trial Chamber III was taking a short break as scheduled.

Before the postponement, Nzirorera reiterated his earlier evidence that as MRND Secretary General he was not managing affairs of the notorious Interahamwe militia, the youth wing of party, and was not responsible for its commissions.

Nzirorera started testifying on May 17 in the joint trial with his co-top MRND officials-- President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and vice president Edouard Karemera.

Meanwhile, a defence witness in the trial of Nzabonimana alleged that a Rwandan mayor had compelled him to level false accusations against the defendant to escape from being jailed.

Jean-Marie Vianney Mporanzi, himself a former Rwandan mayor, said he had acted under duress when making two false statements to ICTR investigators in 1998 and 2003 incriminating the former Rwandan Youth Minister with genocide charges.   

The trial continues Monday.

Next Thursday the Tribunal will hear closing arguments in the case of former Rwandan Deputy Governor, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, who is charged with genocide and direct incitement to commit genocide in Gisagara (South) in 1994.


© Hirondelle News Agency