Arusha, February 28, 2011 (FH) - The defence case of genocide-accused and former Rwandan Minister of Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana resumed Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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The accused is facing five charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. He denied the charges.

Nzabonimana's lead defence counsel, Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse told Hirondelle News Agency that his team would field 10 witnesses during the session expected to end on April 6, including an expert.

‘'The accused will not testify on his own defence,'' defence counsel responded to the presiding Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa who sought clarification about the defendant position.

The case then proceeded by cross examination  in closed session of protected defence witness T61,  after which another protected witnesses for the defence code-named T56 took the floor for examination in-chief.

Prosecution among others alleged that the accused played an important role in the massacres of Tutsis in his native prefecture of Gitarama, central Rwanda. He was allegedly an active member of the then ruling party, MRND, at his prefecture and the national level.   

Nzabonima was arrested in the western part of Tanzania on February 18, 2008. The next day was transferred to the United Nations Detention Facilities (UNDF) in Arusha at headquarters of the UN Tribunal.


© Hirondelle News Agency