Arusha, July 7, 2011 (FH) - The Prosecution in the case of former Rwandan Minister of Youth and genocide-accused, Callixte Nzabonimana, Thursday asked the Trial Chamber to strike out an oversized defence closing brief, stating it disregarded the directive for filing the required 30,000 words.

1 min 26Approximate reading time

‘'On July  5, 2011 the defence filed its closing brief comprising of 52,003 words instead of the 30,000 words as ordered by the Trial Chamber,'' reads part of the motion signed by ICTR Senior Trial Attorney, Kenyan Paul Ng'arua.

The Prosecution submitted that ‘'the Defence willful disregard of the Trial Chamber's Order is a breach of principle of equality of arms between the parties, which is a fundamental principle of a fair trial.''

It further elaborated that ‘'the Defence in its action to file an oversize brief (22,003 words more than an accepted limit) is according itself an unfair advantage over the Prosecutor by allocating to itself more resources.''

In its motion the prosecution among others prayed that the Trial Chamber apart from striking out closing brief also deny the defence any fees associated with the filing of its oversized brief and order it to file a valid one in compliance with the Chambers directive within three days.

Furthermore, the prosecution requested for an order directing the defence to respond to the motion by close of business on July 8, 2011.

The Trial Chamber presided by Ugandan Judge, Solomy Balungi Bossa on July 5, 2011 maintained its order for the parties to file their closing briefs as scheduled on July 5, 2011 with words not exceeding 30,000.

The ruling followed the defence motion filed on July 4, 2011, asking for variation of order on word limits or in the alternative, extension of time to file its closing briefs.

In its ruling the Chamber was categorical stating ‘' it observes that the defence provides no justification for filing its motion at the eleventh hour. In the absence of a compelling argument of good cause for the late filing, the Chamber cannot extend the deadline for submission of the filing briefs.''

Nzabonimana is facing five charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. The Prosecution presents him as the main instigator of the killings in his home prefecture of Gitarama.


© Hirondelle News Agency