Arusha, June 10, 2011 (FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is expected to deliver in August this year the judgement in the case involving four former Rwandan Ministers.

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These are Casimir Bizimungu (Health), Prosper Mugiraneza, (Public Service), Jérome Bicamumpaka (Foreign Affairs) and Justin Mugenzi (Trade).

"The Bizimungu Judgement will be delivered by August," the ICTR President, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan told the United Nations Security Council when presenting her six-monthly report on the Tribunal's completion strategy.

Delivery of judgement comes twelve years after the arrest of the suspects. The highly awaited event also comes eight years after the commencement of the trial commonly known as Government II.

The Trial Chamber presided over by Judge Khan has been drafting the judgement for three years since the parties (prosecution and defence) completed presenting their respective cases. Other members of the Chamber are Judges Emile Short and Lee Muthoga.

For four times, Mugiraneza requested for dismissal of the indictment for ‘'violation of right to trial without undue delay.'' The Chamber, Judge Short dissenting, rejected the requests for failure to show how the defendant's rights were violated.

In his dissenting opinion, Judge Short said his co-members had not considered reasonableness of time taken after closing of case hearing. The evidence phase of the case was closed on June 12, 2008 and closing arguments were heard between December 1 and 5, 2008.

The president also said in her address to the Council that judgement for other three cases would be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year. They include that of former top officials of then Rwandan ruling party, MRND, Matthieu Ngirumpatse, who was the President and his Vice-President, Edouard Karemera.

Others involve former Mayor of Kivumu Commune in Kibuye prefecture, Western Rwanda, Grégoire Ndahimana and that of ex-Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana.

She further pointed out that the Tribunal has completed 88 percent of its work at trial level and by the end of year 2011, less than four percent of the total work would be left out. "We estimate that this work will be completed by the time the Residual Mechanism begins in July 2012," she said.


© Hirondelle News Agency