Arusha, July 7, 2011 (FH) - The prosecution is expecting to call about 30 witnesses for special deposition proceedings in the case of former Rwandan Commander of Presidential Guard, Major Protais Mpiranya, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

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"We expect to call about 30 witnesses," Chief of Prosecution Richard Karegyesa told Hirondelle News Agency on Thursday.

The statement by the prosecution comes few days after Judge Florence Rita Arrey, who has been assigned to conduct the proceedings, gave an order scheduling disclosure of evidence and granting protective measures to the prospective prosecution witnesses.

In her order dated June 28, 2011, the presiding judge noted that "the special deposition proceedings are scheduled to start in the beginning of October 2011."

The judge, therefore, ordered the prosecution to disclose to the Duty Counsel for the accused, Francis Musei, the supporting material that accompanied the indictment and statement of intended witnesses in non-redacted form within ten days of the order and also granted protective measures to all potential witnesses.

ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow initiated the proceedings to safeguard evidence against Mpiranya, Felicien Kabuga, the alleged financier of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and Augustin Bizimana, who was Minister of Defence.

Jallow considers the three figures as key suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide among the nine accused still on the run.

According to sources at ICTR, Kabuga is said to be carrying out his commercial activities in Kenya, while Mpiranya is allegedly being protected by senior officials in Zimbabwe, whereas the ex-Rwandan defence minister may be hiding in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


© Hirondelle News Agency