MRND leaders’ trial adjourned

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has postponed the hearing of the case involving two former senior officials of MRND, the former ruling party. The trial of former party president Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his deputy Edouard Karemera, will now take place on to October 18, 2010.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has postponed the hearing of the case involving two former senior officials of MRND, the former ruling party.

The trial of former party president Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his deputy Edouard Karemera, will now take place on to October 18, 2010.

Since the start of his defence case on August 23, Ngirumpatse has called 15 of the 35 witnesses he intends to field for his defence. Karemera has already completed his defence.

The prosecution indicted them for their responsibility in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis. Both suspects are charged with seven counts including that of Genocide, complicity in Genocide, incitement to commit Genocide and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed by members of their party, in particular its youth wing, Interahamwe.

The prosecution had charged Ngirumpatse and Karemera jointly with the then party’s Secretary General, Joseph Nzirorera. The Tribunal, however, terminated the proceedings against Nzirorera after he passed away in July this year.

MRND was Rwanda’s ruling party from 1975 to 1994 under former President Juvénal Habyarimana and is largely blamed for having played an instrumental role in the planning of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed over a million lives.

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