Arusha, June 25, 2010 (FH) -The trial of Joseph Nzirorera, former Secretary General of MRND, then Rwandan ruling party, resumed before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) this week, with genocide-convict Theoneste Bagosora taking the floor to defend him.

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On the first day of his testimony on Friday, Bagosora who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1994 genocide almost gave evidence on his own defence and never testified on accusations involving Nzirorera.

Bagosora, who has already appealed against the verdict, is considered to have master-minded the killings, which claimed lives of about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a 100-day slaughter.

Hearing of the case continues next Monday when he is expected to go into details on Nzirorera's indictment. In the trial, Nzirorera is jointly tried with his co-top MRND President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his Vice-President Edouard Karemera with crimes committed by members of their party. Karemera has already completed his defence case.

Meanwhile, American lawyer Peter Robinson, counsel for Nzirorera, requested the Tribunal's registrar to reconsider his decision, refusing to allow him to withdraw from defending the accused following discovery of new facts, backing his move and fear of being prosecuted as was the case of Peter Erlinder in Rwanda recently.

Erlinder has already been granted bail on medical grounds. Robinson contended that on June 9, 2010, when the registrar gave his decision, he had not established the link of Erlinder's charges with his work as defence counsel at ICTR, thus his conclusion was incorrect.

And the Tribunal will next Wednesday deliver its judgment in the case of the oldest genocide-accused and former Rwandan businessman, Yusuf Munyakazi, on June 30. The 75 year old Munyakazi pleaded not guilty to genocide or alternatively complicity in genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity.


© Hirondelle News Agency