Arusha, February 3, 2012 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Thursday adjourned sine die the trial of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware because of the uncertainty on dates for which the remaining two defence witness would be able to testify.

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The Presiding Judge William Sekule ordered that the Chamber would hold a status conference next Friday (February 10) to get an update and comprehensive report on the possible date the two witnesses, DWAN 112 and DWAN 114 would give their testimony.

According to the court's decisions, the two protected witnesses are set to testify via video links from Togo and Australia, respectively. The adjournment of the case comes after the Chamber had received evidence of two out of four defence witnesses who have remained to testify for Ngirabatware.

Already 33 witnesses have supported the defendant's case to challenge charges of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and extermination and rape as crimes against humanity, he is facing.

Immediately after the defence testimony, the prosecution is expected to call eight extra witnesses to dispute the defence of alibi for the accused who claims that he was not in Rwanda as of April 23 to May 23, 1994. Ngirabatware alleges that he had visited Senegal and Swaziland within the controversy period.

According to the Rules of the Tribunal, the defence is also entitled to call witnesses to produce "evidence in rejoinder" to contradict such rebuttal evidence, if need arises.


© Hirondelle News Agency