Arusha, November 21, 2011 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Monday commenced the closed door hearings to preserve evidence in the case of one of its most wanted genocide-suspects and former Rwandan Defence Minister, Augustin Bizimana.

0 min 57Approximate reading time

‘'The special hearings for Bizimana have started today (Monday)", Chief of Prosecutions Richard Karegyesa confirmed to Hirondelle News Agency. He declined to go in detail, including disclosing the number of witnesses who will give testimony for prosecution on grounds that the matter was confidential.

Such special hearings are being conducted to preserve the prosecution's evidence for future use in case the genocide-suspect is arrested.

In a scheduling order of September 30, 2011, presiding Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said the proceedings would take place from Monday through Thursday each week and would continue until the depositions of all the prosecution witnesses are recorded.

Bizimana (57), born in Gituza Commune in Byumba prefecture, Northern Rwanda, is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, as alternative count, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.   

During the events for which he was indicted, Bizimana was Minister of Defence in the Interim Government. He held the office from June 9, 1994, when he was sworn in as part of the Interim Government until mid July 1994. Before that, he held same position in the third multi-party government formed on July 18, 1993. In his capacity as defence minister, Bizimana exercised authority over the members of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR).


© Hirondelle News Agency