Arusha, August 15, 2000 (FH) - Closing arguments in the genocide trialof former Rwandan mayor Ignace Bagilishema have been postponed once again,the independent news agency Hirondelle reports on Tuesday. Initially scheduled for July 10th to 14th, prosecution and defence had thenbeen due to present their closing arguments from August 21st to 24th.

0 min 49Approximate reading time

However, the hearings have been postponed again because one of the judgesis unable to be present. New provisional dates have been set for thefollowing week of August 28th to September 1st. Bagilishema is being tried by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed ofNorwegian judge Eric Mose presiding, Judge Mehmet Güney of Turkey and JudgeAsoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. The former mayor is accused ofmassacring Tutsis in four communes of Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda,during the 1994 genocide. At the time, he was mayor of Mabanza in Kibuyeprefecture. Bagilishema's trial began in October 1999, with the last witness appearingin court in June. The prosecution has called 18 witnesses, including twoexperts, while the defence has called 15 including the accused himself. Bagilishema, 45, is defended by French lawyer François Roux andMauritanian co-counsel Maroufa Diabira. He has pleaded not guilty to allcharges. The former mayor was arrested in South Africa in February 1999 andtransferred to the ICTR prison in Arusha. He was mayor of Mabanza fromFebruary 1980 to July 1994. AT/JC/FH (BS%0815e)