Arusha, June 7, 2010 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) rejected on June 3rd a motion filed by former Minister of Planning Augustin Ngirabatware seeking revocation of the charge of having used public funds to finance the extremist Hutu militia.

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Augustin Ngirabatware 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 power" militia.

In a motion filed on May 13, the defence team had requested the chamber to revoke this section of the indictment, arguing that it was not substantiated by any evidence.

However, the request was rejected by the Chamber on grounds that the Prosecution had not entirely finished to present its case.

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.

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.


© Hirondelle News Agency