Arusha, July 3rd, 2000 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has postponed a joint trial of the so-called "Cyangugu" group of suspects until September 18th. The trial had been due to start on August 16th, but has been put back at the request of one of the defence lawyers.

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Vincent Lurquin, Belgian counsel for genocide suspect Emmanuel Bagambiki, said he could not be present at the earlier date because his father was sick. Bagambiki, who was regional commissioner for Cyangugu (southwest Rwanda) is to be tried with two other people accused of crimes in the same region. They are former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and former army commander for the region Samuel Imanishimwe. All three are accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions on war crimes. The ICTR on Monday gave the prosecution until August 4th to submit the list of witnesses it intends to call in the trial, and to say which witnesses will testify for which accused. Russian judge Yakov Ostrovsky said that up to now "we cannot say that we find the prosecution's preparations satisfactory". The ICTR is also due to open the "/media trial" on September 18th. This joint trial brings together three genocide suspects linked to the so-called "hate media" which incited genocide in Rwanda. AT/JC/FH (CY%0703E)