Arusha, 31 January, 2011 (FH) - The hearing of the appeal in the case of three former senior Rwandan military officers including Cabinet Director in the ministry of Defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora is set between March 30 and April 1, 2011 before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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Bagosora was handed down a life sentence by the lower court after being convicted for genocide.

Other appellants in this case known as ‘'Military I'' are Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, former commander of the military sector of Gisenyi (northern Rwanda) and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, who commanded the Para-commando Battalion. They were sentenced to life imprisonment on December 18, 2008  whereas their co-accused former Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi was acquitted.

‘'The hearing of the appeals in the present case shall take place on 30 March, 31 March, and 1 April'' scheduling order issued by the Appeals Chamber indicates.

The appeals hearing comes more than two years after the delivery of the judgment, mainly because of technical obstacles. Colonel Bagosora asked the Appeals  Chamber to order and compel former Rwandan Defence Minister, General Marcel Gatsinzi, to testify.

General Gatsinzi, currently Minister for Natural Disaster and Refugee Affairs, had refused to testify for Bagosora in the first instance, but later in September 2006, he expressed his readiness, giving conditions that he would show up as a court witness and that he would be heard through video link.

Trial Chamber I refused to consider him as its witness and no follow up was made on the other condition. In his new demand, Bagosora, considered the mastermind of the 1994 genocide, seeks the testimony of Gen. Gatsinzi for search of truth.

According to Bagosora, during the trial he produced documentary exhibits, in which Gatsinzi does not question the effective powers he wielded as Chief of Staff, fails to mention a chain of command that could challenge his power and give a presentation on military attacks that was consistent with his defence case.

The decision on this motion is yet to be delivered.


© Hirondelle News Agency