Arusha, September 12, 2011(FH) -The defence for genocide-accused Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana has asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to exclude the evidence of three additional prosecution witnesses, saying it is inadmissible.

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The three prosecution witnesses testified last week in the so called "Rebuttal Case" to oppose the defence of alibi for Nizeyimana. The defendant claims that he was not in Butare prefecture between April 26 and May 26, 1994, but had gone to Mata in Gikongoro prefecture (South Rwanda) to conduct military training for new recruits.

The witnesses in question are Corporal Fulgence Rwirahira, a former soldier with the Rwandan army; Cosma Twagirayezu, who was a night watchman at Mata Tea Factory in Gikongoro during the genocide; and Antoinette Bazimenyera, a housewife.

In a motion dated September 9, 2011, the defence argues that "only evidence which could not be foreseen with reasonable diligence can be brought on rebuttal. All the evidence brought in rebuttal was fully available before the defence commenced", and that it should therefore be thrown out.

Prosecuting Attorney Drew White told Hirondelle that none of the grounds given for exclusion were warranted and that the prosecution had already filed a counter-motion.

The evidence phase in the case was officially closed on June 16, 2011 when the defence finished presenting its witnesses. The prosecution closed its case-in-chief on February 25, 2011.

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. His trial began on January 17, 2011.


© Hirondelle News Agency