Arusha, September 06, 2010 (FH) - Genocide accused and former Vice President of the Rwandan ruling party in 1994, Edouard Karemera is likely to continue boycotting court sessions, his lead defence counsel Dior Diagne told Hirondelle News Agency in an interview on Monday.

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The counsel claimed that the prosecution had improperly amended the new indictment after the death of one of the accused in this case, Joseph Nzirorera, former Secretary General of MRND on July 1, as he was about to finish his defence case .

‘'The indictment in its current form is not normal unless the names and charges against the late Nzirorera are completely removed,'' she emphasized.  

Karemera who is now jointly tried with the former MRND President, Mathieu Ngirumpatse has been voluntarily absenting himself from attending court sessions since August 24. Karemera had already concluded presenting his witnesses.

When the trial resumed on August 23, for the commencement of the defence case of Ngirumpatse, Trial Chamber III presided by Judge Dennis Byron ordered the prosecution to remove the name of the late Nzirorera from the title and counts in the old indictment which comprised of all the three accused and delete any reference of Nzirorera in the amended indictment.

Though prosecution says it complied with the order, both defence teams appealed against the decision of the Chamber to continue with the defence case of Ngirumpatse claiming that the names and charges against the late Nzirorera still exist in the amended indictment.   

‘'My client will not attend court sessions until the Appeals Chamber deliver its decision on our motions,'' Counsel Diagne insisted, adding that ‘' if the Appeals Chamber maintained the lower court decision my client will no longer be in attendance in the court room.''

Ngirumpatse's trial continued Monday with the cross examination of witness GRR whose protective measures were lifted by the Chamber after consultations with Appeals Chamber. The witness is know known by his real name as Faustin Ntilikina, former Major in the Rwandan Army during the 1994 genocide.


© Hirondelle News Agency