Arusha, April 14, 2011 (FH) - The Trial Chamber in the case of former Rwandan Minister for Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware has ordered the prosecution to immediately disclose audio records of Radio Rwanda broadcasts that could presumably assist the accused in his alibi defence.

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‘'The Chamber grants the defence motion; and orders the Prosecution to immediately disclose the audio records of the Radio Rwanda broadcasts of 9,10,11,16 and 17 April 1994 and 24 May 1994,'' reads part of the ruling of the Trial Chamber presided over by Judge William Sekule.  

The decision was a result of the defence motion suggesting that the mentioned audio broadcasts of Radio Rwanda support alibi defence advanced by the accused.  

‘'The defence contend that the Radio Rwanda broadcast of 9 April 1994 supports the accused's  alibi whereby on this date, he was at Hotel Diplomat in Kigali to attend the swearing in ceremony of the Rwandan Interim Government, of which he was a member as Minister of Planning...,'' it argued.  

For Radio Rwanda broadcasts of 10 and 11 April 1994, the defence indicated  that it supported its client  alibi as on those dates, he was likewise at Hotel Diplomat in Kigali to attend Cabinet meetings whereas on April 16 and 17, of the same month the Radio broadcasts reported that the accused had also attended other Cabinet meetings in Gitarama prefecture.  

According to the defence argument, on May 24, 1994 Radio Rwanda broadcast the accused's interview after he returned from an official trip outside Rwanda from 23 April to 23 May 1994, visiting Gabon, Togo, Senegal, Swaziland and Zambia.  

The defence charged that all these audio records contracted allegations in the indictment that the accused was committing serious crimes in Gisenyi, northern Rwanda on those dates.   

The court noted that no such disclosure was made by the prosecution to the defence.

‘'The Chamber is therefore satisfied that the defence has established possession by the prosecution of audio records of the Radio Rwanda broadcasts...,'' it affirms insisting that they should be immediately disclosed.   

The defence case of Ngirabatware continues on June 6, 2011.


 © Hirondelle News Agency