Arusha, September 3, 2010(FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) this week conducted two trials of former President of Rwandan ruling party in 1994, MRND, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and that of ex-Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware.

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In the case of Ngirumpatse, the defence called three witnesses, including military officer code named ‘'GRR'' to protect his identity. He claimed that youths, who engaged in looting and killings in Kigali city after April 6, 1994 were young people with no political affiliation but rather thugs.

The witness, who was stationed at the Rwandan Army Headquarters in Kigali during genocide, said that time they were not talking about Interahamwe (MRND militias), but youths who were thugs with neither identification nor answerable to any visible authority. The trial continues Monday when the prosecution will cross-examine the witness.

Ngirumpatse is jointly tried with his Vice-President, Edouard Karemera, with crimes mostly committed by members of their party. Karemera has already concluded his defence case.  

In Ngirabatware's trial the prosecution closed its case on Tuesday after fielding 20 witnesses. The defence case is scheduled for November 15. The prosecution's last witness was Major General with the Rwandan National Army, who testified via video link from Kigali using code-name ‘'ANAW'' as he was a protected witness.

His evidence centered on security situation after the downing of President Juvenal Habyarimana plane on April 6, 1994, claiming that it was normal. He did not mention the accused nor did he link him with charges throughout his testimony.

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.

And the trial of former mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda, Grégoire Ndahimana, takes off next Monday. The prosecution is expecting to call 15 witnesses.


© Hirondelle News Agency