Arusha, September 14, 2011(FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has allowed four more new witnesses to testify for former Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana.

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"The Trial Chamber considers it in the interests of justice to allow the four rejoinder witnesses to testify in response to the rebuttal evidence concerning the whereabouts of the accused on the morning of April 21, to the late afternoon of April 22, 1994 and from April 26 to May 17, 1994," a decision dated September 13, 2011, reads.

According to the decision, the four witnesses will testify on September 20 and 21, 2011 after the Chamber considering that their proposed evidence would be "relevant and has probative value, and is not of a cumulative nature."

In its motion of September 8, 2011, the defence requested to call the witnesses in the so called "Rejoinder Case" to contradict the evidence given by three additional prosecution witnesses in a "Rebuttal Case," who allegedly challenged Nizeyimana's alibi defence over his presence in Butare prefecture (South Rwanda) in April and May 1994.

In a separate decision given the same day, the Chamber denied the application by defence for exclusion of the three additional prosecution rebuttal witnesses.  "The Chamber is not satisfied that the defence discharged its burden of showing that it suffered a degree of prejudice that would justify the extreme measure of excluding the rebuttal evidence," the decision says in part.

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