Arusha, January 28, 2011 (FH)-The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Friday adjourned to February 7, defence hearing of case involving former Rwandan mayor, Grégoire Ndahimana, as per judicial calendar.

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Lead counsel Bharat Chadha for Ndahimana, ex-mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture, said he expected to call five witnesses each week in the next session ending February 25, 2011.

Ndahimana has called 10 witnesses since he started presenting his defence case on January 17, 2011. They include a survivor of massacres at Nyange Parish in the same prefecture, Western Rwanda, who claimed that the accused was not present when Tutsi refugees were attacked and killed at the parish in April 1994.

 "I did not see Ndahimana during the attack," said witness code-named ND-7 to protect her identity, referring to April 15, 1994, when an extensive attack was launched at the parish.

Ndahimana, who is charged with genocide or complicity in genocide, in the alternative and extermination, as a crime against humanity, allegedly planned the massacres at Nyange Parish jointly with other officials. In these massacres, the prosecution alleges, more than 2000 Tutsi refugees were killed.

The former mayor was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on August 10, 2009. He was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on August 21, 2009.  He made his initial appearance on September 28, 2009 and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

His trial took off on September 6, 2010. The prosecution called 15 witnesses before closing its case on November 19, 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency