Based in Arusha, Tanzania, the ICTR has to close its first instance trials by the end of 2011. Presenting his report to UN Security Council, Judge Dennis Byron, President of the ICTR, warned December 6, that current departures among the experienced staff may delay delivery of judgments.
The very day, the resolution was adopted, the Tribunal was carrying out its last hearing of the year. This was in the case of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, with the accused giving testimony for his own defense. He will be back in the witness's box on January 17, next year.
Ngirabatware, son-in-law of Félicien Kabuga, the alleged sponsor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, is mainly accused of instigating Tutsi massacres in his home commune, Nyamyumba, former Gisenyi prefecture (northern Rwanda). The prosecution claims that the former minister was present when the crimes were committed.
Ngirabatware's trial will resume alongside two others involving former Mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye Prefecture (western Rwanda), Grégoire Ndahimana, for presentation of his defence case and that of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana, when the prosecution will start fielding its witnesses.
But the first trial to resume next year will be that of two former top officials of then Rwandan ruling party, MRND, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Edouard Karemera on January 10, 2011.
Ngirumpatse, the President of the party is expected to continue calling witnesses for his defence. Already 35 witnesses have testified in his favour. Karemera, who was MRND Vice-president, has completed presenting his case.
© Hirondelle News Agency