Arusha, November 11, 2011 (FH) -While Congolese militiaman Mathieu Ngudjolo wailed when testifying in his own defence over Eastern DRC massacres in 2003, counsel for Rwandan pastor Jean Uwinkindi requested a public hearing in the appeal challenging the transfer of his case to Rwanda for trial.

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Mathieu Ngudjolo : Congolese militiaman Mathieu Ngudjolo,  denied participating in the massacres of civilians at Bogoro (Eastern DRC) on February 24, 2003. Ngudjolo, a trained nurse, was giving his own defence when he insisted that on the material day he was not in Bogoro, but in the neighboring village of Kambutso where he was assisting a midwife in a difficult delivery. He is charged, alongside Germain Katanga, with crimes against humanity and war crimes following the Bongoro massacres where over 200 people were killed.

Jean-Pierre : The prosecution Monday continued calling witnesses in the trial of former Congolese rebel leader Jean Pierre Bemba. The hearing was suspended on November 8, for lack of interpreters in Lingala, the lingua franca in the Western half of the DRC. Bemba is charged for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.


Uwinkidi lawyer demands public appeal case hearing: Jean Uwinkindi's defence counsel Claver Sindayigaya has requested a public hearing before the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) renders its decision to confirm or not the transfer of his client's case to Rwanda for trial. He alleged that the case in question was very important, hence they should be given time to plead it publicly. Uwinkindi is charged with genocide and extermination, as a crime against humanity.   


Gacaca courts : Rwandan authorities declared this week that semi-traditional genocide courts known as Gacaca will wrap up their work by December 31, despite 22 cases still outstanding. The spokesperson for the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions (NSGJ), Denis Bikesha, said they expect to present their final report before that date. According to him, the 22 remaining cases mostly concern people who were convicted in absentia and who have reopened their cases recently upon returning to Rwanda.   


© Hirondelle News Agency