The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has adjourned indefinitely special hearings to preserve evidence against a former Rwandan top soldier believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe.
Former presidential guard commander, Major Protais Mpiranya, is charged with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide or complicity in genocide, as an alternative count, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
According to latest reports from Rwanda, the prosecution has so far called 11 witnesses out of 30 expected to testify against Mpiranya. Proceedings, which took off on October 24, are being conducted in closed session,
The tribunal trying suspects of the 1994 Rwandan genocide has complained to the United Nations Security Council that it was encountering difficulties in tracking the top fugitive believed to be holed up in Zimbabwe.
Justice Hassan Jallow, prosecutor of ICTR, wrote to the UN Security Council saying there were difficulties in apprehending Mpiranya.
Jallow said Zimbabwe should prevent the genocide fugitive from evading justice.
The prosecutor said they had requested for cooperation and assistance from the Zimbabwean government in bringing Mpiranya to justice.
“Difficulties experienced in the tracking of the top-level fugitive Protais Mpiranya continue and I urge further cooperation and assistance from the Government of Zimbabwe in this regard,” Jallow said in a statement addressed to the UN Security Council.
But Zimbabwean police maintain they are not aware of the presence of the genocide fugitive in the country despite insistence by the tribunal.
The police have urged anybody with information regarding the whereabouts of Mpiranya to come forward.
Close to one million Rwandans, mostly from the Tutsi minority ethnic group, were massacred during 100 days of bloodletting.
The majority Hutu ethnic group is accused of orchestrating the mass killings.
According to reports from the ICTR, special hearings for ex-Defence minister Augustin Bizimana, earlier planned to start tomorrow, have been pushed to November 21.
Other special hearings concerning the most wanted genocide fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, have been adjourned indefinitely.
Kabuga is said to be carrying out his commercial activities in Kenya, while Bizimana is said to be hiding in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.