Arusha, April 05, 2011 (FH) - The Witness and Victim Support Section (WVSS) of the International Criminal Tribunal Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday conceded that it had failed to get one protected defence witness in the case of former Rwandan Minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana.   

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‘'I must admit I do not have the answer but I can say what happened with respect to the arrangement of witness T65 and the manner in which we were to get in touch with him. We were supposed to meet him in a country other the country of his residence (Rwanda),'' Joseph Esombe Edimo, In charge of WVSS, told the Chamber presided by Judge, Solomy Balungi Bossa.

He said a security officer was dispatched to meet him at a bus stand in the country in question but surprisingly he never showed up for the whole day.

‘'The defence also said it had lost track of the witness and our attempt fails,'' he narrated insisting that the defence had earlier prohibited the WVSS to get in touch with the witness unless asked by them to do so.

Rendering the Chamber's observation on witness T65 issue, Judge Bossa said the witness was scheduled to testify twice but could not make it and in both occasion the defence reported that they failed to contact him.

‘'We are surprised to hear that the defence now wants collaboration with the WVSS. The defence has up to the end of business today (Tuesday) to make up their mind on this witness,'' ruled Judge Bossa.

The trial continues Thursday for the status conference on the way forward.            

Nzabonimana is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. The prosecution among others alleged that the accused played an important role in the massacres of Tutsis in his native prefecture of Gitarama.


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