August 20, 2010 (FH) -The prosecution in the trial of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware charged with genocide and crimes against humanity will call its last three witnesses next week before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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Hearing of the case resumes Monday when Trial Chamber II presided over by Judge William Sekule would hold a status conference before taking evidence of the witnesses on Tuesday, ICTR's Prosecution Counsel Wallace Kapaya, told Hirondelle News Agency Friday.

According to him, the prosecution is expecting to rest its case at the end of next week. So far, a total of 17 witnesses have already testified. In July 2010 the Trial Chamber accepted the prosecution's motion to call three additional witnesses to reinforce its case.

The indictment, among other things, alleges that Ngirabatware "forwarded to MRND public funds from his ministry to purchase weapons for the party's youth wing, the Interahamwe militiamen". It alleges further that Ngirabatware launched appeals to kill Tutsis during numerous meetings in his home region in 1994.

Ngirabatware hails from what used to be the Nyamyumba commune, Gisenyi prefecture (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.

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).

The former minister fled Rwanda in July 1994 and subsequently worked in various research institutes in Gabon and France. He was arrested in Germany on September 17, 2007 and has been in ICTR custody since October 8, 2008.


© Hirondelle News Agency