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Closing Arguments Presented in Gatete Trial

On 8 November 2010 the Prosecution and the Defence presented their closing arguments in the trial of Jean-Baptiste Gatete, former Mayor of Murambi Commune in Byumba prefecture and later Director in the Women and Family Affairs Ministry. The accused is charged with six counts including Genocide, or, in the alternative, complicity in genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; and the crimes against humanity of extermination, murder and rape.


The Prosecution called for the conviction of Gatete, and imposition of a life sentence following, what it argued was, strong evidence presented against him.


Senior Trial Attorney, Drew White (Canada) told Trial Chamber III composed of Judges Khalida Khan, presiding, Lee Gacuiga Muthoga and Aydin Akay that the evidence by prosecution witnesses detailed the actions of the killers and their victims and role played by the accused in the killings in Byumba and Kibungo prefectures in April 1994.


The Defence led by Counsel Marie-Pierre Poulain (France) prayed for the acquittal of the accused arguing that the Prosecution had failed to prove the case against the accused. It further pointed out that prosecution witness evidence had several shortcomings including contradictions and hearsay evidence.


The Prosecution called 22 witnesses while 27 witnesses testified for the Defence. The accused himself elected not to testify.


The accused was arrested on 11 September 2002 by the Congolese authorities acting on a warrant of arrest issued by the Tribunal on 19 December 2000. He was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 13 September 2002 and pleaded not guilty to the previous ten counts contained in the first indictment on 20 September 2002 during his initial appearance. His trial began on 20 October 2009.

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