Arusha, November 4, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) adjourned sine die, on Thursday, special hearings to preserve evidence against former Rwandan Presidential Guard Commander, Major Protais Mpiranya.

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Mpiranya is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or complicity in genocide, as alternative count, crimes against humanity and war crimes.   

So far the prosecution has called 11 witnesses out of 30 expected to testify. A source at the ICTR said that the special hearings for ex- Defence Minister Augustin Bizimana, earlier planed to start on November 8, have also been pushed to November 21, 2011.   

Mpiranya's proceedings, which took off on October 24, are being conducted in closed session, while those for Bizimana are also expected to be held behind doors, according to Tribunal Rules. Other special hearings concerning the most wanted genocide fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, have also been adjourned sine die.   

The prosecution's testimony in the matter came to the end on October 27, 2011. But there is a pending  motion by Duty Counsel seeking leave to conduct investigations and preserve defence witnesses' testimony.   

ICTR sources allege that Kabuga is said to be carrying out his commercial activities in Kenya, while Mpiranya is allegedly being protected by senior officials in Zimbabwe, whereas Bizimana may be hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).   


© Hirondelle News Agency