Dar es Salaam, September18, 2001 (FH) - The hearing of defence testimony in the extradition case of former Rwandan army officer Major Bernard Ntuyahaga failed to take off once again on Tuesday, because the State Attorney was sick. Kisutu Principal Resident Magistrate Projestus Rugazia adjourned the session to Wednesday after the court heard that Ms Amma Munisi, representing the United Republic of Tanzania, was suffering from malaria.

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Defence counsel said they had consulted with prosecution and agreed to postpone. The Rwandan government wants Ntuyahaga for his alleged role in the murder of former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and ten Belgian UN peacekeepers on April 7th, 1994, in Kigali. This extradition request was lodged more than two years ago, but Ntuyahaga has languished in jail while hearings were adjourned again and again. On Monday, defence lawyers Luc de Temmerman of Belgium and Professor Jwan Mwaikusa of Tanzania were due to bring their first witnesses. Mwaikusa told the court they had secured two witnesses but asked for an adjournment as he had not had enough time to talk to them. The two witnesses are a Belgian construction engineer who was in Rwanda for seven years until he left on April 12th, 1994; and a Burundian catholic priest now living in Belgium. The priest, Juvénal Bamboneyeho, told Hirondelle on Tuesday that he lived in Rwanda for 22 years, from 1972 to June 1994. Major Ntuyahaga was released by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on technical grounds on March 18th, 1999 but was re-arrested by the Tanzanian authorities on immigration charges and for consideration of extradition requests. Both Belgium and Rwanda put in an extradition request. Tanzanian authorities rejected the Belgian one, saying bilateral accords provided for suspects to be extradited only to the country where their alleged crimes were committed. NI/JC/PHD/FH (NU0918E)