Arusha, October 5, 2001 (FH) - The genocide trial of former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli was on Friday adjourned to November 26th after the testimony of the ninth prosecution witness, and amid controversy overKajelijeli's health. Protected witness "GDD" told the court in four days of hearings that Kajelijeli incited Hutus to kill Tutsis in his commune of Mukingo (Ruhengeri prefecture, northwest Rwanda) and in neighbouring Nkuli during the 1994genocide.

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The witness testified in the absence of the accused, whose state of health gave rise to heated debate. At one point, the ex-mayor's American lawyer Lennox Hinds threatened to walk out of court after the Chamber rejected his request for an adjournment on health grounds. The defence maintained that their client was "in agony" and had been suffering from severe pain in his right leg and right shoulder which ICTR doctors had been unable to diagnose. They asked the court to order him transferred to a specialist clinic. However, on the basis of an ICTR doctors' medical report, the court found there was no reason for the accused not to appear. Presiding Judge William Sekule of Tanzania ordered that Kajelijeli come to court or waive his right to attend proceedings. Judge Sekule also said that the hearing would continue with or without the accused. On Tuesday, Kajelijeli was brought to court briefly, supported by a security guard and using crutches. The trial had failed to resume on Monday as scheduled because of his health. At a press conference on Thursday, Hinds complained about what had happened. He said the court had put him in an impossible situation, forcing him to choose between his moral obligation to his client and respect for the Chamber. Detainee witnessGDD was the only witness to testify this week, after resumption of the trial on Tuesday. The case began in July but is alternating with two other cases (ex-minister Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda and the "Butare trial" of six accused) before Trial Chamber Two. GDD, dubbed as such to protect his identity, said he was a Hutu from Nkuli commune. He has been sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment in Rwanda after pleading guilty to genocide. The witness told the court that Kajelijeli requisitioned and distributed weapons that were used to attack Tutsis during the genocide. In cross-examination, Hinds pointed to many of the witness's statements which he had not included in his original statement to ICTR investigators. "I did not tell that to the ICTR investigators because I was expecting to develop my testimony before the Tribunal," the witness replied. Kajelijeli has pleaded not guilty to eleven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. He is on trial for massacres of Tutsis in and around Mukingo during the genocide. The case is before the ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho and Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar. BN/JC/FH ((KJ1005e)