Arusha, May 24, 2001 (FH) - The trial of three former Rwandan leaders charged with committing crimes in Cyangugu, southwest Rwanda, during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, was adjourned on Thursday until June 4th, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The so-called Cyangugu trial groups former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, former commander of Cyangugu military barracks Samuel Imanishimwe and former Transport Minister André Ntagerura, who comes from Cyangugu.

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All three have pleaded not-guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged role in massacres during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The 36th prosecution witness, dubbed "LCJ" to protect her identity, gave most of her testimony in closed session on Wednesday and Thursday. LCJ, a 30 year-old Tutsi woman, was the seventh consecutive witness to testify on the exhumation on April 28th, 2000 of victims who had been killed in Cyangugu and buried in a mass grave during the massacres. LCJ said that in April, 1994, prefect Bagambiki ordered refugees out of the Cyangugu parish and into a stadium against their will. She added that "Imanishimwe, the Bishop of Cyangugu and many soldiers were present" when the refugees were relocated. According to the witness, some people were later removed from the stadium and killed. The court heard that out of the 17 bodies exhumed in April last year, 16 bodies were identified as being those of victims removed from the stadium on the prefect's order. All seven witnesses who testified on the exhumation said that the bodies were later reburied in May 2000. The court heard that the bodies could be identified because they were not completely decomposed. Meanwhile, the court is yet to make a ruling on an oral request Wednesday by prosecution, asking for an order that any case documents in the possession of arrested defence investigator Siméon Nshamihigo be seized and surrendered to the prosecution. Nshamihigo was arrested on May 19th by Tanzanian authorities at the request of the ICTR prosecution, which is investigating him for genocide. At the time of his arrest he was working for Imanishimwe's defence team, using an assumed name and a Congolese passport. But Imanishimwe's Cameroonian defence counsel Marie-Louise Mbida argued that any material that might be taken from the investigator should be returned to the defence. The hearing is before Trial Chamber Three composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/PHD/FH (CY0524E)