Arusha, April 12, 2011 (FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has ordered the prosecution to conduct a comprehensive review of its case-in-chief against former Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana to determine what paragraphs of the indictment, if any, remain unsupported by its evidence.

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"In the exercise of the powers afforded the Trial Chamber under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Chamber concludes that it would materially serve the interests of justice and the economy of judicial resources to order the prosecution to conduct a comprehensive review of its case-in-chief, with a view to withdrawing any paragraph for which it has not adduced any evidence," it said.

"The Chamber believes that such an exercise could prove extremely beneficial in streamlining the issues to be addressed during the course of closing arguments and final deliberations," the order further reads.

According to the order, the review should be done as soon as possible and no later than May 6, 2011, the prosecution must indicate to the Chamber and defence which paragraphs of the indictment, if any, it seeks to withdraw due to lack of evidence.

The Chamber recalled that on numerous occasions throughout the trial, the defence had been asserted that the prosecution did not adduce evidence in support of all the paragraphs contained in the indictment, allegation that appeared to have not been squarely denied by the prosecution.

Such order comes at the final stage of proceedings after presentation of prosecution's case and the Tribunal has already declared that Nzabonimana defence case was officially closed, with the exception of the hearing of two French witnesses whose identities were not disclosed.

The trial resumes on May 3, when the prosecution is expected to call its witness to rebut the defence of alibi of Nzabonimana that he was at the French Embassy in Kigali between April 7 and 11, 1994.

In the case, Nzabonimana is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. He has denied all the charges.


© Hirondelle News Agency