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Defence Begins Presentation of its Evidence in Ndindabahizi Trial

The Defence Counsel of the former Rwandan Minister of Finance, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, began presentation of its evidence today before Trial Chamber I, composed of Judge Erik Møse (Norway), presiding, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan) and Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa (Uganda). After the opening statement of the Defence Counsel, the Trial Chamber heard four protected witnesses. It is expected to call a total of twenty witnesses before winding up its case at the end of November.

The Defence is represented by Pascal Besnier and Guillaume Marçais from France. The prosecution team is composed of Charles Adeogun-Phillips (Nigeria) and Wallace Kapaya (Tanzania).

Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, 53, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination) and crimes against humanity (murder). He is alleged to have led a campaign of extermination against the civilian population identified as Tutsi in Kibuye Prefecture. The campaign was concentrated in the region where the accused spent his childhood, and where he had risen through the local and regional political administration to become a Government Minister.

The trial began on 1 September 2003 and was adjourned on 30 September 2003, after the prosecution completed presenting evidence provided by fifteen witnesses within a record period of twelve trial days.

Ndindabahizi was arrested in Verviers, Belgium on 12 July 2001 and was transferred to Arusha on 25 September 2001. During his initial appearance on 19 October 2001 he pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

For information only - Not an official document

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