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Defence Closes its Case in Rwamakuba Trial

On 9 February 2006, the Defence closed its case before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the trial of Andr é Rwamakuba, the former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in the interim government of 8 April 1994. He was also a member of the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR).

In an indictment dated 9 June 2005, the Prosecutor charged Rwamakuba with four counts including genocide, or alternatively, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity (extermination and murder). Rwamakuba has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

A medical doctor by profession, Rwamakuba is according to the indictment responsible for supervising and personally taking part in the massacres of Tutsis civilians in Gikomero commune and at the National University Hospital of Rwanda. Rwamakuba allegedly struck wounded patients with an axe, pulled intravenous out drips of patients and allowed the militiamen accompanying him to kill Tutsi patients.

Trial Chamber III heard 29 Defence witnesses over 39 trial days. The Prosecution finished its case on 13 September 2005 after calling 18 witnesses over 39 trial days. The Chamber made a visit to the scene of the alleged crimes in Rwanda in January 2006.

André Rwamakuba was arrested on 21 October 1998 in Windhoek, Namibia and transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha two days later. Initially indicted with Edouard Karemera, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Joseph Nzirorera, André Rwamakuba has been severed from these co-accused in February 2005. He did not attend his trial since it reopened in 2005.

Rwamakuba is represented by David Hooper (UK) and Andreas O’Shea ( South Africa). The Prosecution team is led by Dior Fall ( Senegal).

Trial Chamber III is composed of judges Dennis Byron (Saint Kitts and Nevis), presiding, Karin Hökborg ( Sweden), and Gberdao Gustave Kam ( Burkina Faso).

As of today, the Tribunal has handed down judgments involving 26 persons, of whom 23 were convicted and three acquitted.

For information only - Not an official document

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