Arusha, September 8, 2011(FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is likely to hear new testimonies from the defence of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, if its application to call more witnesses was granted.

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In a three-day-session starting September 6, 2011, the Tribunal has been receiving extra evidence, one from the defence and three for prosecution. The evidence phase in the case was officially closed on June 16, 2011 when the defence concluded presenting its witnesses. The prosecution closed its case-in-chief on February 25, 2011.

But on Thursday after closure of his cross-examination of the three prosecution witnesses, who testified in the so called "Rebuttal Case" to challenge Nizeyimana's defence of alibi over his presence in Butare prefecture, Western Rwanda, between April and May, 1994, the defendant's lead counsel, John Philpot, indicated that he would file a rejoinder motion.

"We will file our rejoinder motion today (Thursday) at 3.00pm," the counsel told a Trial Chamber presided over by Judge Lee Muthoga, who in turn informed the parties that the evidence phase in the case might come to the end if the application in question would be rejected.

According to Rules of the Tribunal, if one party to the proceedings is granted leave to present rebuttal witnesses, the other party may apply for so called "Rejoinder Case" to challenge the evidence given by witnesses in the "Rebuttal Case."

In its scheduling order dated August 19, 2011, the Chamber has indicated that witnesses in the "Rejoinder Case" would be heard on September 20 and 21, 2011 if the application would be granted.

According to the Indictment, Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. He was arrested in Uganda on October 5, 2009 and transferred to the UN Detention facility in Arusha, Tanzania the following day.


© Hirondelle News Agency