Arusha, June 7, 2001 (FH) The trial of six people accused of genocide in the southern Rwandan region of Butare is set to start Monday before Trial Chamber Two of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The so-called Butare case groups former Minister of Women's Development Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and former militia leader Arsène Ntahobali, former mayor of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi, former mayor of Muganza Elie Ndayambaje and two former prefects of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo.

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All are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Kanyabashi and Ndayambaje are the ICTR detainees who have been in detention longest without trial. Both were arrested in Belgium in June 1995 and transferred to the Tribunal in November 1996. Trial Chamber Two coordinator Antoine Mindua confirmed Thursday that the court would be composed of Judge William Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), plus new judges Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho and Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar. The Chamber has been recomposed following the death of its former presiding judge, Laity Kama of Senegal, in May, and the appointment of the new judges to replace two (Mehmet Güney of Turkey and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka) who will be going to the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR and International Criminal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Another new judge, Andrésia Vaz of Senegal, has been appointed following Kama's death. She is expected to join Trial Chamber One to replace Judge Gunawardana. Mindua said hearings in the Butare case were scheduled from June 11th to the end of the month. On July 2nd, Trial Chamber Two is due to hear the case of former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli, which was started in March. It is not yet clear whether the case will have to be restarted, owing to the recomposition of the Chamber. Prior to the death of Judge Kama, Trial Chamber Two had also opened another case, that of former Rwandan minister Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda. This may also have to be restarted. JC/MBR/FH (BT0607e)