Arusha, October 3, 2011(FH) - Judges from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) left Monday for southern Rwanda to visit sites of crimes allegedly committed in the case of former Rwandan military officer Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana.

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According to ICTR Legal Officer Constant Hometowu, who coordinates the Chamber that is trying Nizeyimana, prosecution and defence teams are also to accompany the judges. The visit will last until October 7, and concerns sites in the Butare and Gikongoro prefectures.

In the indictment, the prosecution alleges that Nizeyimana was second-in-command in charge of intelligence and military operations at the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) in Butare, ordering, supervising and organizing massacres of Tutsis in various places in the region, including that of Tutsi Queen Rosalie Gicanda on April 21, 1994.

Nizeyimana has vehemently denied the allegations and argues that he was at Mata Tea Factory in Gikongoro prefecture conducting military training for new recruits at the time when the alleged crimes were committed in Butare.

Nizeyimana is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination, murder and rape) and war crimes (murder and rape). Witness testimonies in the trial have ended, after 41 were called for the prosecution and 43 for the defence. A scheduling order of August 19, 2011, says the parties must file their closing briefs by November 8, and that closing arguments will be presented in court on December 8, 2011.

The accused 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, and ended on September 21, 2011.


© Hirondelle News Agency