Setako judgement set for Thursday

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will on Thursday render a judgement in the case of former military officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ephrem Setako, who is accused of committing Genocide crimes. The 55-year old Genocide suspect, who has pleaded not guilty, is facing six charges including Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will on Thursday render a judgement in the case of former military officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Ephrem Setako, who is accused of committing Genocide crimes.

The 55-year old Genocide suspect, who has pleaded not guilty, is facing six charges including Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The court was previously scheduled to pass the verdict on Wednesday but was reportedly pushed to the following day to enable defence counsel Professor Lennox Hinds attend. 

If passed, it will be the second judgement this year the court has rendered after that of former Rwandan military officer, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi ,who was early this month sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of public incitement to commit genocide.

Prosecution has maintained that Setako was a privileged person because he hailed from the same region as former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

At the opening of the trial in August 2008, Prosecutor Ifeoma Ojemini Okali, accused Setako of having trained and armed Interahamwe militiamen and ordering them to kill Tutsis in several communes of his native prefecture of Ruhengeri, Northern Province and in Kigali.

A graduate of the National Military School (ESM) and of the Faculty of Law of the National University of Rwanda (UNR), Setako was during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, a Director of Legal Affairs at the Defence ministry.

Hisdefence closed its case in June last year after fielding a total of 34 witnesses while the Prosecution called 20 witnesses. The parties presented their closing arguments on November 5, 2009.

The former officer has been in detention since February 2004 after he was arrested in Amsterdam at an asylum seekers’ office and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha the same year.

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