Arusha, May 13, 2011(FH) - While commencement of special deposition proceedings for most wanted genocide fugitive Félicien Kabuga is around the corner, the defendant's family has mandated French lawyer, Emmanuel Altit, to represent them in the case scheduled for May 23, 2011, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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Altit has requested for formal appointment to the Tribunal's President. However, presiding Judge Vagn Joensen has invited the Registrar, Prosecutor, Kabuga's appointed Duty Counsel Bahame Nyanduga and Altit himself to address him whether the latter has locus standi in the case.

In addition to that, this week the Tribunal waived protective measures of a prosecution witness to help the Denmark's Special International Crimes Office to investigate and eventually prosecute genocide-suspect Emmanuel Mbarushimana.

The witness code-named RV is now willing to testify under his real identity in the Danish proceedings involving Mbarushimana over his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Within this week, the Tribunal also sanctioned defence team for former Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana for disclosing names of a protected prosecution witness in a motion seeking admission of document in the case.

Following such sanction, the defence team, notably Nzabonimana's Lead counsel Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse and Co-counsel Philippe Larochelle would be denied fees in relation to all work performed during preparation of the motion.

Furthermore, defence case for ex-Rwandan military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana commenced this week and six witnesses testified without making direct link with the indictment. Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. The trial continues Monday.

Whereas former Rwandan Mayor Grégoire Ndahimana closed his case after calling 30 witnesses to disprove charges of genocide or complicity in genocide, in the alternative and extermination, as a crime against humanity.

Next Tuesday, the Tribunal will deliver a landmark judgment in a joint trial of four former senior Rwandan military officers, including two generals charged for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the defence case for former Congolese rebel leaders Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo continued and witnesses complained of being detained for some months without knowing the reasons behind.

They requested to be taken to Netherlands instead of Democratic Republic of Congo. However during the session a Netherlands representative said his country would not give such offer.


© Hirondelle News Agency