Arusha, September 21, 2011(FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday adjourned until further notice the trial of former Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, after receiving the testimony of four new defence witnesses.

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The witnesses gave evidence in a two-day session starting Tuesday in attempt to contradict the testimony of three additional prosecution witnesses. The three prosecution witnesses, who testified on September 7 and 8, 2011, opposed Nizeyimana's defence of alibi over his presence in Butare prefecture (South Rwanda) between April and May 1994.

In brief, the defence witnesses suggest in their testimonies the absence of Nizeyimana in Butare and his presence at Mata Tea Factory in Gikongoro prefecture (South Rwanda) where he allegedly conducted military training for new recruits, as of April 20 and 22, 1994 and later from April 26 to the end of May, 1994.

However, the prosecution claims in the indictment that during the period the defendant was at the Non-commissioned Officers School (ESO) in Butare, as in charge of intelligence and military operations, ordering or instigating soldiers under him to kill Tutsis at various locations in the region.

According to a scheduling order of August 19, 2011, the Trial Chamber presided by Judge Lee Mothoga and the parties to the trial would conduct a site visit in Rwanda on October 3, 2011 and the prosecution and defence are expected to present their closing arguments on December 8, 2011.

In the trial, 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.

The evidence phase in the case was officially closed on June 16, 2011 before the prosecution was granted its request to call the three additional witnesses. In total the prosecution has so far called 41 witnesses to support charges against the accused, while 43 testified for Nizeyimana's defence


© Hirondelle News Agency