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Closing Arguments in "Butare" Case

The Prosecution and the Defense on 1 May 2009 concluded their respective cases in the joint trial of six persons charged with Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and Serious Violations of the Geneva Conventions, in what is called "the Butare case, or Pauline Nyiramasuhuko et al. trial".

Appearing before Trial Chamber II composed of Judges William Sekule (Tanzania), presiding, Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda), the Prosecution called for the conviction and imposition of life imprisonment for the accused while the Defence prayed for their acquittal.

The accused in the trial are Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Rwandan Minister for Family and Women Affairs, (the first woman to be indicted by an international criminal tribunal and the only woman to be indicted by the ICTR so far), her son and former leader of the Interahamwe militia, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali; former Governor of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana; former Commanding Officer of the Military Police and former prefect of Butare, Alphonse Nteziryayo; former Mayor of Ngoma, Joseph Kanyabashi; and former Mayor of Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje. The Prosecution stated that the defendants committed the killings in a calculated, cold blooded and methodical manner.

She added that the Prosecution had also proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused played a prominent role in the commission of the crimes in Butare, a famous religious and academic centre in Rwanda. Through the presentation of documentary evidence, and evidence from expert and factual witnesses, the Prosecution said it had proved that the accused caused action, made speeches, used the media, distributed arms and trained militia, in committing the crimes.

Defence lawyers however, called for the acquittal of the accused persons stating that the Prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges preferred against them. Judgement of the case will be made on a date to be announced later.

All the accused pleaded not guilty during their initial appearance on 3 September 1997. Hearing of the case began on 12 June 2001.

For information only - Not an official document

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