MRND leaders’ trial adjourned

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), last week, postponed to early next year the hearing of the case involving two former senior officials of MRND, the ruling party prior to the 1994 Genocide against the Tusti.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), last week, postponed to early next year the hearing of the case involving two former senior officials of MRND, the ruling party prior to the 1994 Genocide against the Tusti.

The trial of former party president Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his deputy Edouard Karemera, will now take place in January next year.

The two former MRND party officials are charged with seven counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity.

Before the adjournment, Trial Chamber III had conducted a status conference where Ngirumpatse’s defence said that they would provide the remaining witnesses on Wednesday, this week.

Since the start of his defence case in August, Ngirumpatse has called thirty five witnesses.

For Karemera, he concluded with his defence with a total of thirty five witnesses testifying.

The prosecution called 46 witnesses, of whom 30 appeared before the Chamber for direct examination, while the evidence of 16 was admitted through their written statements.

Earlier, the prosecution had charged Ngirumpatse and Karemera jointly with the then MRND Secretary General, Joseph Nzirorera.

The Tribunal, however, terminated the proceedings against Nzirorera after he died 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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