Arusha, August 31, 2010 (FH) -The prosecution Tuesday closed its case involving former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, after calling 20 witnesses. The defence case is scheduled to commence on November 15.

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The last witness, a senior official with the Rwandan National Army with a rank of Major General testified via video link from Kigali using code-name ‘'ANAW'' as he was a protected witness. However during the entire testimony he never mentioned the accused, linking him with charges.

His evidence before Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) centered on security situation prevailed in Kigali city after the downing of President Juvenal Habyarimana plane on April 6, 1994, killing all passengers on board.

The case was later adjourned to give the defence time to prepare for its case scheduled to start on November 15, according to the Tribunal's program.

Ngirabatware is alleged, among others, to have "forwarded to MRND public funds from his ministry to purchase weapons for the party's youth wing, the Interahamwe militiamen. He also alleged to incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during numerous meetings in his home prefecture 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.

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