Arusha, October 13th, 2000 (FH) – The trial of three suspects accused of genocide in the southwest Rwandan region of Cyangugu has been suspended until October 23rd, sources at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said Friday. The Trial Chamber judging former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and former Cyangugu military leader Samuel Imanishimwe is set to start another trial on Monday 16th: that of Laurent Semanza, who was mayor of Bicumbi (Kigali rural prefecture, central Rwanda).

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As Semanza’s trial opens, the court is due to hear an amicus curiae (friend of the court) representation from the government of Belgium. The so-called Cyangugu trial started on September 18th. On Friday, the court heard the sixth witness for the prosecution. Prosecutors say the three accused acted together to try to eliminate the Tutsi population, notably in the Cyangugu region. According to the prosecution, more than 100,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in Cyangugu in the space of 23 days. Witnesses for the prosecution have described massacres of Tutsis at various different sites in Cyangugu, notably the Gashirabwoba football field and the church of Mibilizi. On October 23rd, the ICTR is also due to start the trial of three genocide suspects linked to hate-media which incited massacres of Tutsis during the genocide. They are Ferdinand Nahimana, who was director of the radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Hassan Ngeze, who was editor of Kangura newspaper, and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and founder member of RTLM. Italo-Belgian former RTLM presenter Georges Ruggiu was originally expected to be part of the media trial. However, he pleaded guilty earlier this year to crimes against humanity and inciting genocide. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment on June 1st and is expected to testify against the otheraccused. AT/JC/FH (CY%1013E )