Arusha, February 15, 2001(FH) - The trial of three genocide suspects accused of crimes in the southwest Rwandan region of Cyangugu in 1994 was adjourned on Thursday afternoon, as a witness fell ill and was unable to proceed with his testimony. The hearing will resume on Monday, February 19th.

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The so-called Cyangugu trial groups former Transport Minister André Ntagerura, former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, and Samuel Imanishimwe, who was commander of the army barracks in Cyangugu prefecture. All three have pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The 22nd prosecution witness, a Tutsi genocide survivor dubbed "LBH" to protect his identity, was unable to testify in the afternoon, prosecutor Holo Makwaia informed the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The case is before Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR, composed of Judges Lloyd Williams of Jamaica (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. The chamber granted an adjournment but advised the prosecution to line up another witness for hearing on Monday in case LBH had not recovered. LBH earlier told the court that former prefect Bagambiki and military leader Imanishimwe had tried to prevent the exodus of Tutsi refugees from the Kamarampaka stadium in Cyangugu towards the former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC). On cross-questioning by the defence, the witness said that over 5,000 refugees forced their way out of the camp "where they had been assembled by Bagambiki". "We thought we could get to Zaire and ask for asylum," LBH said. The defence maintained that there were contradictions between the witness’s written statements to ICTR investigators and his testimony in court. SW/JC/PHD/FH (CY_0215e)