Arusha, February 7, 2012 (FH) -The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is expected to deliver two judgments at the end of March in trials involving former Youth Minister, Callixte Nzabonimana and ex-Rwandan military officer, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, according to the President of the Tribunal, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan.

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In her address to a meeting of ICTR staff members held on Friday, the President also announced that judgment was projected to be delivered by June 30 in the case of former Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware, currently in final stage of presentation of his defence case.

According to the prosecution, Nzabonimana is charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity (extermination and murder), while Nizeyimana is accused of genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination, murder and rape) and war crimes (murder and rape).

The Prosecution presents the ex-minister as main instigator of the killings in his home prefecture of Gitarama, Central Rwanda, while former military official was second in command, in charge of intelligence and force's  operations at the Non-Commissioned Officers School (ESO) in Butare prefecture.

During presentation of closing arguments on October 20 and December 7, 2011, respectively, the prosecution in both cases requested for life imprisonment sentence to be imposed on the defendants for their role in the 1994 genocide, including ordering and supervising massacres at some locations in their prefectures.

But the defence pleaded to the contrary and sought for acquittal of the accused. The defence lawyers submitted that allegations against the minister were ‘'fabricated'' and "full of lies". In Nizeyimana's case, defence lawyers argued that the prosecution failed to prove the case for the military officer beyond reasonable doubts.

Nzabonimana was arrested in Tanzania on February 18, 2008, and his trial started on November 9, 2009, a month after the capture of Nizeyimana in Uganda. The military officer was transferred to the UN Detention facility in Arusha, on October 6, 2009 and hearing of his case took off on January 17, 2011.


© Hirondelle News Agency