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Court pushes Callixte Nsabimana’s trial to July

The High Court Chamber for International Crimes in Nyanza District has postponed the trial of former FLN militia group spokesperson Callixte Nsabimana, as civil parties in the case were not ready to use information technology to give their testimony in court.

The current circumstances to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 virus did not permit those seeking damages from the accused to travel to Nyanza District to give their testimonies.

 

These civil parties are in Rusizi District (where many of the crime Nsabimana is being accused took place), which effective Wednesday was placed under travel restrictions following the upsurge of Covid-19 cases there.

 

The alternative was for the these parties to the trial to give their testimonies via video link, which they were not ready to do, prompting court to push the trial to July 8.

 

The trial was scheduled for Thursday, June 4, and skype was expected to be used to link the judges in Nyanza; the accused in a Kigali prison; and the witnesses in Rusizi.

According to the judges, the court was ready for a virtual trial, just as the prison where Nsabimana is currently being detained; however, the witnesses were not.

Nsabimana is facing 17 terror-related charges mainly connected to the activities of the FLN rebel group.

Among the charges is the formation of an illegal militia group; taking part in terrorist activities; conspiring and sensitizing people towards joining terrorism; killing; kidnapping; denying and undermining the genocide against the Tutsi, among others.

Nsabimana had during the pre-trial hearing pleaded guilty to all the charges.

The FLN militia operates in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is blamed for terror attacks on Rwandan territory in which people lost lives in 2018, especially in areas around Nyungwe National Park.

hkuteesa@newtimesrwanda.com

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