Arusha,  August 26, 2011 (FH) - The defence case of genocide-accused and former Rwandan minister for Planning, Augustin Ngirabatware, was Friday adjourned by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to September 19, 2011.

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‘'We shall resume on September 19, 2011. It will be a long session up to October 31, 2011,'' Presiding Judge William Sekule said adding that ‘' we hope by that time the defence case will be over.''

He also expressed hope that by then the trial phase of the case would be over, insisting that if the parties would have any motions, it should be filed on a timely manner for the Chamber to act upon accordingly.

Three witnesses testified for Ngirumpatse during the session which started on August 15, including the former Rwandan minister for Foreign Affairs, Jerome Bicamumpaka, himself a genocide accused waiting for judgment in a joint case involving four former ministers.

Sixteen witnesses have already testified for Ngirabatware since the beginning of the defence case on November 16, 2010. Fifty-eight witness are expected to come to the bar.

The indictment among others alleges that around early April 1994 the accused engaged into a joint criminal enterprise with other authorities in his Nyamyumba commune, Gisenyi prefecture, North Rwanda, to exterminate Tutsi civilians as part of widespread and systematic attack against Tutsi population.

Ngirabatware, is the son-in-law of Felicien Kabuga, the alleged sponsor of the 1994 genocide, who is still on the run. He fled Rwanda in July 1994 and subsequently worked in various research institutes in Gabon and France. He was arrested in Germany in 2007 and has been in ICTR custody since October 8, 2008.


© Hirondelle News Agency