Arusha, January 21, 2011 (FH) - Commencement  of the trial of former Rwandan military officer, Captain lldephonse Nizeyimana, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was a major event among six cases reported by the Hirondelle News Agency this week.

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A total of six witnesses testified to support the prosecution's case against the accused, who is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. The trial continues Monday. Earlier, in its opening statements, the prosecution accused Capt. Nizeyimana of, among others, ordering the murder of individual Tutsis, including Queen Rosalie Gicanda.

It claimed that there were several examples of the accused ordering soldiers under his command to attack, kill and rape Tutsi civilians.

Other events involved trial of then officials of Rwandan ruling party, MRND, Matthieu Ngirumpatse , the President and his Vice-President Edouard Karemera. Ngirumpatse started giving his own defence, claiming his party was for peace and unity for all Rwandans.

He described as ‘' propaganda'' the concept of moderate Hutus and Hutu extremists, blaming the media, opposition parties and the Rwandese Patriotic Front as agents of that propaganda.

The case involving ex-Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, who was to continue testifying on his own defence, was postponed sine die following a defence motion for disqualification of judges, citing bias.

Another case is that of former Mayor of Kivumu Commune, Kibuye prefecture, Grégoire Ndahimana, who commenced his defence case and four witnesses testified in his favour. The trial continues Monday. In its opening statement, the defence sought for a verdict of not guilty, claiming the testimonies accusing Ndahimana of genocide were unreliable and untrue.

In the case of Pastor Jean Uwinkindi, the Rwandan government has been asked nine questions to justify its readiness to receive and try cases from Tribunal created by Security Council to prosecute key perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

Among questions include whether Rwandan legal system was able in practice to provide the accused adequate legal representation, financial support to an indigent accused and facilitate security, travel and investigations for defence

Whereas in Germany, the judiciary opened its first trial in Frankfurt in relation to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The accused, Onesphore Rwabukombe, former mayor of Muvumba (East of Rwanda), is charged with "ordering and coordinating three massacres" committed between 1990 and 1994.


© Hirondelle News Agency