Arusha, March 16, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has asked the Arab Republic of Egypt to provide assistance to the defence for ex-Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware to meet with its citizen who allegedly possesses information regarding allegations against the accused.

1 min 5Approximate reading time

"The Chamber considers that the defence has identified, in as much detail as possible, the evidence it seeks. Specifically, it requests a meeting with the named Egyptian national, who may be able to give evidence about some of the allegations against the accused," said part of Chamber's decision.

It noted that the defence has established that the access to the named Egyptian might be useful in deciding whether to call him as a witness and that the nature of his alleged involvement in Rwanda may yield information relevant to the charges against the accused.

"The defence has also demonstrated that it has made diligent efforts to obtain the evidence it seeks, and these efforts have been unsuccessful," the Chamber further noted in its decision dated March 15, 2011.

In its motion, the defence had claimed that the Egyptian national possesses firsthand knowledge of the events in Rwanda from January to April 1994 and could, therefore, be a crucial defence witness.

Ngirabatware, who hails from what used to be the Nyamyumba Commune, Gisenyi prefecture (North of Rwanda), 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.

The prosecution closed its case on August 31, 2010. The then minister started defending himself on November 16, 2010. He completed giving his own evidence on February 15, 2011. His defence hearing is expected to resume on June 6, 2011.


© Hirondelle News Agency