Kigali, April 3, 2012 (FH) - Judge Sauda Murererehe from Nyarugenge tribunal in Kigali announced on Tuesday that the trial of extradited Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera was postponed to May 9, and that debates would take place in kinyarwanda.

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The Rwandan academic was extradited from Canada in January this year after a legal battle lasting more than 15 years. He is accused of inciting genocide in a 1992 speech during a meeting of his political party in northern Rwanda.

His trial was due to start on February 2, 2012, but Mugesera had asked for additional time to make sure his defence team would be complete. He is already assisted by one lawyer from Rwanda, Donat Mutunzi, but his team is supposed to consist of six Canadians, two Rwandans and an American.

Mugesera was also requesting that the official language for the trial would be English and not Kinyarwanda, arguing that he had just spent 20 years in an English speaking country and that there were some judicial terms he was not familiar with in Kinyarwanda.

However, Judge Sauda Murererehe ruled that the Prosecution was right to request the use of Kinyarwanda, the accused mother tongue, as the 1992 speech was in Kinyarwanda. The prosecutor had argued that translating the speech into another language would dilute its genocidal message.

While Prosecutor Ndibwami Rugambwa sais he was satisfied with the decision, Donat Mutunzi told Hirondelle News Agency after the hearing that he still had to decide with his client whether they would appeal the ruling.