Arusha, March 3, 2011 (FH) -Defence hearing of former Rwandan Planning Minister, Augustin Ngirabatware will resume on June 6, 2011 before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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"The Chamber hereby orders that the defence case-in-chief be scheduled to resume on June 6, 2011, and that the parties be prepared for the proceedings to continue through July 15, 2011 and expects that during this period of time the defence will be able to complete its case-in-chief," reads part of the order.

According to the order published on the ICTR website, the defence is required to file, no later that March 4, 2011, an updated list of witnesses that it intends to call. The defence had initially indicated that it would call 96 witnesses, a number described by the prosecution as unrealistic.

The prosecution called 20 witnesses before closing its case on August 31, 2010. The ex-minister is charged with genocide or in the alternative conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination and rape as crimes against humanity.

Ngirabatware started defending himself on November 16, 2010. The former minister hails from what used to be the Nyamyumba Commune, Gisenyi prefecture (North of Rwanda). He is the son-in-law of Felicien Kabuga, the alleged sponsor of the 1994 genocide, who is still on the run.

He fled Rwanda in July 1994 and subsequently worked in various research institutes in Gabon and France. Ngirabatware was arrested in Germany on September 17, 2007 and has been in ICTR custody since October 8, 2008. His trial began on September 22, 2009.


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