Arusha, July 10, 2000 (FH) - Closing arguments in the trial of former Rwandan mayor Ignace Bagilishema have been postponed to August because of translation problems, according to sources at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The prosecution and defence had been due to sum up their cases this week.

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The court is now expected to hear their closing arguments between August 21st and 25th. Bagilishema was mayor of Mabanza commune in the west Rwandan prefecture of Kibuye. He is accused of massacring Tutsis in the Kibuye area during the 1994 genocide. Charges include genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions on war crimes. Bagilishema's trial began on September 27th, 1999, with the last witness appearing in court in June. In total, the prosecution called 18 witnesses, including two experts. The defence called 15 witnesses, including the accused himself. Bagilishema is defended by French lawyer François Roux and Mauritanian co-counsel Maroufa Diabira. Bagilishema, 45, was arrested in South Africa in February 1999 and transferred to the UN prison in Arusha. He was mayor of Mabanza from February 1980 to July 1994. AT/JC/FH (BS%0706E)