Arusha, June 04, 2010 (FH) - The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday rejected a request to postpone hearing of appeal in the case of genocide-convict Callixte Kalimanzira, following the arrest of American Professor Peter Erlinder in Rwanda last week.

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The decision followed a motion filed on June 1, by Kalimanzira's defence team, requesting postponement of the hearing sine die until the release of Erlinder, who was arrested for allegedly negating genocide.   

 The Chamber ruled that the motion was manifestly without merit and directed hearing of appeal to proceed on June 14, as scheduled before.

 Erlinder, a defence counsel for genocide-convict Major Aloys Ntabakuze, was in Kigali to defend Victoire Ingabire, an opponent to President Paul Kagame's regime, who is charged with negation of genocide, collaboration to a terrorist organization and spreading ethnic division.

Judicial calendar

 According to its judicial calendar released this week, the ICTR will in December render its verdicts in three trials involving eleven accused, including Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the first woman indicted for genocide by an international jurisdiction.

 Nyiramasuhuko, former Rwandan Minister of Family and Women Affairs, appears before the court in the so-called "Butare case" with five others, including her son Arsène Shalom Ntahobali.

 Another judgment will comprise four former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) officers, including Army Chief of Staff, General Augustin Bizimungu and his gendarmerie counterpart, Augustin Ndindiliyimana.   

 Meanwhile, trial of former Rwandan Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana, the only case heard this week was Thursday adjourned to July 5, for a new session, which ends July 15. The defence called 19 witnesses during the last session.

 Defence hearing of then Secretary General of former Rwandan ruling party, MRND, Joseph Nzirorera, resumes Monday when the prosecution will continue cross-examining the defendant.


© Hirondelle News Agency