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Closing Arguments in Kalimanzira Case

On 20 April 2009 the Prosecution and the Defence presented their closing remarks in the case of Callixte Kalimanzira, former Chef de Cabinet of the Ministry of the Interior who is charged with three counts of genocide, or in the alternative complicity in genocide, and with public incitement to commit genocide.

The Prosecution prayed for Trial Chamber III, composed of Judges Dennis Byron, presiding, Gberdao Gustave Kam and Vagn Joensen to convict the accused and sentence him to imprisonment for the remainder of his life. The Defence on its part called for his acquittal on all counts. The Prosecution stated that it had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Kalimanzira in a rational and calculated fashion directed others, his foot soldiers to carry out the slaughter of Tutsi civilians in Butare prefecture. “He reduced Tutsi human beings to prey at public places such as meetings and roadblocks and incited gang members of the local population to participate in the massacre of their Tutsi neighbours”. “Your Honours Kalimanzira deserves nothing less than imprisonment for the remainder of his life,” the Prosecution said.

The Defence countered that it had shown that the witnesses for the Prosecution were not credible and therefore they should all be rejected. It added that the allegations made by the Prosecutor which are supposed to back up conviction have not been proven and called for Kalimanzira’s acquittal. Kalimanzira, whose case began on 5 May 2008, was on 8 November 2005 taken into the ICTR custody after he surrendered to Tanzanian authorities in Arusha.

On 14 November 2005 he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him when he made his initial appearance before the Tribunal. In the course of the trial, the Prosecutor called twenty four witnesses and the Defence forty three witnesses including the accused.

The Prosecution was led by Christine Graham while Counsel Arthur Vercken and Co-Counsel Anta Guissé represented the accused.

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