Arusha, September 19, 2011 (FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will conduct closing arguments in the case of former Youth Minister Callixte Nzabonimana on October 20 and 21, 2011, according to a scheduling order.

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Nzabonimana is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder, as crimes against humanity. The Prosecution presents him as the main instigator of the killings in his home prefecture of Gitarama, Central Rwanda.

According to the prosecution, Nzabonimana was a member of the then Rwandan ruling party, MRND, at both national and prefecture level and at various times between 1989 and 1994, held the positions of Planning Minister and later Minister of Youth.

As Chairman of MRND in Gitarama prefecture and a serving minister in 1994, the prosecution alleges, the defendant was a person of great prominence and consequently, was able to wild considerable influence within his local community and civilians and law enforcement agents likely followed his orders.

During genocide in April and May, 1994, Nzabonimana is alleged to have encouraged the killings of Tutsis at various locations in his home commune of Nyabikenke. Born in 1953, the defendant was arrested in connection with the charges on February 18, 2008 in Tanzania.

His trial opened on November 9, 2009 and was concluded on September 12, 2011. The prosecution called 20 witnesses, while the defence fielded 38.


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