Arusha, June 27, 2001 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday adjourned to October 22nd the so-called "Butare Trial", after the testimony of only one prosecution witness since the case started on June 12th. Trial Chamber Two finished hearing the testimony of ICTR prosecution investigator Shukri Ghandi.

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Ghandi submitted sketches, photographs, maps and videotapes on sites of alleged crimes in Rwanda and its southern region of Butare. After Ghandi completed his testimony, the Chamber announced that the Butare trial would resume from October 22nd to November 23rd because it will be hearing another case from July 2nd (former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli). The Butare trial groups former Minister for Family and Women's Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo, and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi and Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje. The hearing is before Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Mantanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. Prior to the adjournment, the court upheld defence objections to the hearing of a prosecutor's motion. The prosecution wanted an urgent hearing on a motion to harmonize witness protection measures. But defence said that the prosecution was in the habit of "taking the defence by surprise" and "jumping from one issue to another. "The Chamber ruled that the motion would not be heard. It said that those defence teams that had not yet submitted a written response should do so, and the court would then deliver a decision on the written submissions. Frayed tempersTempers flared when Nyiramasuhuko's Canadian co-counsel Guy Poupart told the court that photographs which prosecution had promised the defence had not yet been provided. Referring to a previous exchange, Poupart commented with sarcasm that: "since the prosecution has no lesson to learn from the defence, let it be known that I need photographs not lessons. "Italian prosecutor Silvana Arbia responded: "l don't need any lessons, we know our work…" But the Chamber curtailed the exchange, calling on both parties to "exercise a lot of restraint and responsibility. "Presiding Judge Sekule urged both parties to use "civil and proper language" and to desist from using words that "were not useful or relevant to the proceedings". On Monday, the defence and prosecution were at loggerheads over a comment by the prosecution that "it had no lessons to learn from the defence". To which Nteziryayo's defence replied: "defence also has no lessons to learn from prosecution". The prosecution said that it was doing all in its power to provide defence teams with the photographs in question. Some defence teams complained, however, that some documents had not been translated. Nsabimana's lead counsel Josette Kadji of Cameroon said prosecution responses that documents would be "ready soon" were not adequate and were causing delays for the defence. "The prosecutor insisted on a joinder, we didn't, and we cannot keep on dragging our feet," Kadji said. SW/JC/FH (BT0627e)