Arusha, June 8, 2011(FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has denied the application by Duty Counsel Bahame Nyanduga for the most wanted genocide fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, seeking variation of order relating to resumption of the special deposition proceedings on June 13, 2011.

1 min 23Approximate reading time

"Presiding Judge (Vagn Joensen) denied Duty Counsel's application, noting in particular that competing needs, including courtroom and court staff available, did not allow a delay in the schedule," reads part of the minutes of the proceedings, which are being conducted in total closed sessions.

According to the minutes, the Chamber announced that a status conference would be held on the date of the resumption of the deposition. In his oral submissions, the minutes dated June 2, 2011 say, Nyanduga had prayed for the Chamber to resume on June 27, 2011.

He submitted that he wished to conduct investigations in Kigali during the week staring June 13, 2011 and also requested additional time to meet with witnesses. The minutes quote Prosecuting Attorney Bill Egbe as saying he had no submissions to make as the matter falls squarely within the Chamber's discretion.

The special deposition proceedings in Kabuga's case commenced on May 23, 2011 and the prosecution has so far called seven witnesses out of at least 44 it is expecting to field in the matter. This is the first case in the ICTR history for the prosecution to call such big number witnesses in a single case.

 Kabuga (76) is charged with 11 counts of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide. He is also facing charges of crimes against humanity for murder, extermination, rape, persecution and inhuman acts and other charges of war crimes.

Kabuga's case is among three involving top-level fugitives that would be proceeded with in such way under Rule 71 bis of the ICTR Rules.  The other cases involve Protais Mpiranya, who was Commander of the Presidential Guard and Augustin Bizimana, former Minister of Defence.

ICTR sources allege that Kabuga is said to be carrying out his commercial activities in Kenya, while Mpiranya is allegedly being protected by senior officials in Zimbabwe, whereas Bizimana may be hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


© Hirondelle News Agency