Arusha, October 19, 2001 (FH) - The trial of Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerard Ntakirutimana was postponed on Friday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) because a prosecution witness said she felt ill and could not continue. Protected witness "XX" began testifying, led by prosecutor Bio-Tia Stevens of the US.

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However, after a short while the witness told the court she was unwell. XX had been due to start her testimony on Thursday but prosecutors said she had been taken sick and hospitalised in Arusha. The witness is a Tutsi woman who survived the massacres at Mugonero (Kibuye prefecture, western Rwanda) where the accused lived and worked. At the time of the genocide, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist church in Mugonero, while Gerard was a doctor at the infirmary in the same complex. XX told the court that she had been working at the Mugonero infirmary in 1994. Prosecution alleges that the Ntakirutimanas participated in the April 16th, 1994 massacres of Tutsi refugees who fled to the Seventh Day Adventist complex. Presiding judge Navanethem Pillay ordered the trial adjourned to Monday, saying she hoped the witness would be in better health. Judge Pillay was presiding in the short-term absence of Judge Mose of Norway, who normally presides in this case before Trial Chamber One. The other judge in this trial is Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. ICTR Rules provide that a trial can proceed with only two judges for up to five days. SW/JC/PHD/NK1019E