25.02.11 - WEEKLY SUMMARY - PROSECUTION CONCLUDES PRESENTATION OF WITNESSES IN NIZEYIMANA TRIAL

Arusha, February 25, 2011 (FH) - The prosecution in the case of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana Friday rested its case before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) whereas at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Thomas Lubanga's trial is set to continue.
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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 case.

The prosecution case which started on January 17, fielded a total of 38 witnesses.

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.

And in the same Tribunal the trial of former mayor of Kivumu commune, Gregoire Ndahimana continues next Monday with the testimony of the 24 defence witness.

Ndahimana is charged for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity, notably for massacres perpetrated on April 16, 1994 at Nyange Parish, a catholic church in his hometown where 2,000 Tutsi refugees were killed.

Since the opening of his case on January 17, Ndahimana has been trying to prove that he had lost his authority as a mayor and that Kivumu was under total control of Interahamwe militias.

And next Monday the defence case of former Rwanda Minister of Youth Callixte Nzabonimana resumes with the defence case expected to field more witnesses for the defence of their client.

At the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Thomas Lubanga's trial is set to resume on March 7, with the defence presenting its case. On Wednesday, the Chamber rejected a defence application seeking for dismissal of the indictment for ‘'abuse of proceedings.''

The defence had claimed that the Office of the Prosecutor had used intermediaries to bribe witnesses.

Thomas Lubanga was commander-in-chief of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo. He is charged with war crimes, committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during 2002 and 2003.

NI/ER/GF

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