Arusha, July 3, 2012 (FH) – Trial of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware resumed before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday, but was later adjourned to July 23, for presentation of closing arguments.

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In Tuesday’s proceedings, the defence cross-examined  the last additional prosecution witness, a Nigerian diplomat, on certain issues related to stamps on passport of the accused.

Protected witness code named PRWIII had been called in the prosecution’s case to rebut the defence of alibi advanced by Ngirabatware that he was not in Rwanda between April 23 and May 23, 1994.

The witness commenced his evidence in chief on June 5, 2012. The defence started the cross-examination two days later and did not complete questioning him and requested for an adjournment because it needed more time to conduct some investigations.

This is the last case to be heard by ICTR. The Trial Chamber presided by Judge William Hussein Sekule is expected to deliver its judgment before the end of this year.

In case of any appeal, the matter will be heard by the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which takes over the remaining essential functions of the ICTR and that of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Ngirabatware, a son-in-law of fugitive Felicien Kabuga, the alleged banker of 1994 genocide, is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.