Arusha, May 7, 2001 (FH) The United Nations flag was flying at half-mast on Monday outside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), after the death on Sunday of one of its longest serving judges, Judge Laity Kama of Senegal. Judge Kama was the first ICTR president, serving for four years to June 1999.

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Since then he had been president of the ICTR's Trial Chamber Two. Judge Kama fell ill in mid-April, official sources told Hirondelle, and was hospitalized in Nairobi where he received treatment for respiratory and heart problems. Current ICTR President Judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa is expected to make a formal announcement to staff at midday on Monday. ICTR Chief of Press and Information Tom Kennedy described Judge Kama's death as a "sad loss". After nearly two years with no trials, Judge Kama's Trial Chamber had just started two new cases (Kajelijeli and Kamuhanda) and was expected to begin a big joint trial (Butare) next week. Informed sources said the trials of former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli and of former minister Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda would probably have to be restarted while the trial of six people accused of genocide in the Butare region of southern Rwanda would have to be postponed. ICTR Rules provide that when a position falls vacant in Chambers, the UN Secretary-General makes an appointment in consultation with the presidents of the Security Council and of the General Assembly. JC/FH (JU0507e)