Arusha, February 18, 2011 (FH) - Four major events were reported by Hirondelle News Agency this week, including trials of two genocide-suspects, Augustin Ngirabatware and Matthieu Ngirumpatse, who completed giving their own evidence before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The ICTR adjourned sine die defence hearing of Ngirabatware, who was Planning Minister in Rwanda during genocide, as it was still working on the schedule for resumption of the next session, while proceedings in the case of Ngirumpatse, the president of MRND, were postponed as the Trial Chamber was traveling to Rwanda next week for site visit.

Before the Tribunal there was also continuation of trials of Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana and ex-mayor, Grégoire Ndahimana. The prosecution called six witnesses to support charges against former Rwandan military officer, while five others testified for defence of then mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture. Both trials continue Monday.

Whereas in The Hague, the process to look for the successor of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, whose term will expire in June 2012, is underway with some African candidates expressing interests to compete for the post.

A Search Committee, which operates from New York, has been set up with mandate to facilitate the nomination and election of the next Prosecutor.  Moreno Ocampo's successor should be elected by consensus of the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties which will be held in New-York between December 12 and 21, 2011.

Before the ICC there was also trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba, a leader of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), and a prosecution witness testified against him, describing how the defendant's Congolese rebels systematically pillaged his neighborhood.

According to the witness, code-named "42" to protect his identity, the MLC forces had attacked his family on November 2002, looting and raping his 10-year old daughter.


© Hirondelle News Agency