Arusha, October 4, 2010 (FH)-The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has, once again, allowed the prosecution to make amendments of the indictment in the case of former military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana, and ordered his further appearance to be conducted the soonest possible.

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Trial Chamber III said in its decision posted on the ICTR website and made available to Hirondelle News Agency Monday that Nizeyimana would not be prejudiced if such amendment would be granted and Trial Bench, when appointed, would provide him adequate time to prepare his case.

"Given the stage of the proceedings, and the ability of new information to provide the parties and the Chamber a better understanding of the case to be proven, the Chamber finds amendments of paragraph(s) in the interest of justice and it will not cause undue prejudice to the accused," the Chamber ruled.

It further found that new charges and factual allegations have an ameliorating effect on the indictment which enables the defence to better prepare its case by providing added clarity and precision as to the alleged criminal conduct of Nizeyimana and the new charges that have been added are justified.

Furthermore, the chamber noted, the prosecution has shown diligence in notifying the accused and the chamber of its intention to seek leave to file an amended indictment and the filing that request after the completion of further investigation and months before the proposed trial date. The trial is expected to begin on November 1.

"Given that the accused has sought exactly the sort of information now provided in the proposed indictment, the Chamber believes that it is appropriate to grant leave to amend the indictment with a view towards remedying the defects that Nizeyimana has complained of throughout the pre-trial process," the Chamber ruled.

Capt. Nizeyimana, who was second in command in charge of intelligence and military operations of Noncommissioned Officers School (ESO) in the southern town of Butare, made his initial appearance on October 14, 2009 and pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide or complicity in the alternative, as well as rape as crimes against humanity.

On February 25, 2010, the Chamber granted the prosecution leave to amend the indictment and filed the amended indictment on March 1. Nizeyimana pleaded not guilty to the charges in further appearance on March 5.

On March 29, the Chamber granted partially a motion by the accused alleging defects on the amended indictment. This forced the prosecution on August 31, to seek further amendments.

It is alleged that Ndahimana conspired with other military personnel, members of the government, political leaders, civil servants and others in Rwanda to work out a plan for the extermination of the Tutsi population.

He allegedly organized, ordered and participated in massacres, instigating Interahamwe attacks, instructing the setting up of roadblocks, preparing lists of Tutsis to eliminate and directing soldiers to execute entire families.

Nizeyimana was arrested in Kampala (Uganda) on October 5, 2009 and transferred to the UN Detention facility in Arusha (Tanzania) the following day.


© Hirondelle News Agency