Arusha, February 25, 2011 (FH) - Prosecution  rested its case on Friday in the trial of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana after fielding a total of 38 witnesses.

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‘'The prosecution rests its case and I thank all the parties,'' prosecution attorney  before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Drew White told the Chamber presided by Judge Lee Muthoga.

The prosecution case started on January 17, 2011.

Capt. Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial was adjourned to May 9, 2011 when the defence will commence its hearings.

Speaking to Hirondelle News Agency, Capt. Nizeyimana's Co-counsel, Cainnech Lussiaa-Berdu said his team was not yet sure about the number of defence witnesses they would call for the defence of their client.

‘'We are not sure yet but I don't think the Chamber will allow us more than the number of witnesses presented by the prosecution,'' he explained adding that most of them will be factual witnesses without giving further details.

When asked about the assertion by some experts that his client was regarded as among the leading figures in the commission of genocide in Butare prefecture, South Rwanda, the Co-counsel simply denied.

‘'People may say anything but we are concerned with what is going on in the court room,'' he responded.

Several witnesses alleged that Capt. Nizeyimana among others ordered, supervised and organized the massacres of Tutsis in various places in Butare, including that of Queen Rosalie Gicanda, the widower of the last but one Rwandan King Mutara III, Rudahingwa on or about April 21, 1994.

The defendant was arrested in Uganda on October 5, 2009 and transferred to the UN Detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania the following day.


© Hirondelle News Agency