Arusha, September 6, 2011(FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Monday started receiving extra evidence in the trial of former military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, about three months after the evidence phase in the case was declared closed.

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Four witnesses, one from defence and three for prosecution, will testify in this session expected to run until September 8. The prosecution concluded its case-in-chief on February 25, 2011, whereas the defence closed its evidence on June 16, 2011. The parties called 38 witnesses each.

It is the defence which became the first to call its witness code-named BNN07 to protect his identity, following a decision by the Tribunal, allowing reopening of its case for the witness to testify for the accused on events that occurred at a secondary school in Western Rwanda during genocide.

In his testimony, the witness denied the allegation that Nizeyimana ordered soldier from the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) in Butare prefecture (Western Rwanda) on April 29, 1994 to go on mission at the Groupe Scolaire, a secondary school, where some Tutsis were identified and killed.

"I was told that the ESO commander Lieutenant-Colonel (Tharcisse) Muvunyi had set the mission for a purpose of identifying the people who were at the Groupe Scolaire" he alleged. Muvunyi is currently serving a 15 year-jail-term for direct and public incitement to commit genocide.

According to the witness, there was information suggesting that some Inkotanyi (former Rwandan Patriotic Front Rebels-RPF, currently in power) had infiltrated the area.

Cross-examined by Prosecution Attorney, Kirsten Gray, at the end of his testimony, the witness admitted, however, that about 50 persons were identified during the mission not as Inkotanyi but rather as ordinary Tutsis, who were later killed at a location known as Rwasave valley.

The indictment alleges, among others, that it is Nizeyimana who ordered the soldiers from ESO and other camps on April 29, 1994 to go and identify and subsequently kill Tutsis who sought refuge at Groupe Scolaire in collaboration with the Interahamwe militia.

Prosecution had been all along claiming that Capt. Nizeyimana was second in command, in charge of intelligence and military operations at ESO, allegations that have been vehemently denied by the defence.

Hearing of the case proceeds Wednesday when one of the three prosecution's witnesses set to challenge the defence of alibi for accused, who claims he was not in Butare in months of April and May, 1994, is expected to take the stand.


© Hirondelle News Agency