Arusha, March 1, 2011 (FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Monday adjourned to April 18, the defence case involving former Rwandan mayor, Grégoire Ndahimana.

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Presiding Judge Florence Rita Arrey said the next session would end on May 13, expressing her hope that the defence would be able to call all its remaining witnesses.

Already Ndahimana, ex-mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture (Western Rwanda) has called 24 witnesses since he started presenting his defence case on January 17, 2011. The defence is expecting to call a total of 33 witnesses, according to the defendant's Lead Counsel Bharat Chadha.

Ndahimana is charged with genocide or complicity in genocide, in the alternative and extermination, as a crime against humanity. The prosecution charges him, among others, for his role he played in massacres at Nyange Parish in the prefecture where more than 2000 Tutsi refugees were killed.

He allegedly planned the massacres jointly with other officials, including parish priest Athanase Seromba, currently serving life imprisonment sentence for his involvement in the killings.

Others are businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga, who was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by a Trial Chamber for similar involvement and Judicial Police Inspector of the commune Fulgence Kayishema who is in the wanted list to be indicted at ICTR.

The former mayor was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on August 10, 2009. He was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on August 21, 2009.  He made his initial appearance on September 28, 2009 and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

His trial took off on September 6, 2010. The prosecution called 15 witnesses before closing its case on November 19, 2010.


© Hirondelle News Agency