Arusha, November 28th, 2002 (FH) - The genocide trial of former mayor of Mukingo commune (Ruhengeri province, northern Rwanda), Juvenal Kajelijeli,continued in closed session on Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Kajelijeli, 50, has pleaded not guilty to eleven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity.

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The prosecution maintains that he instigated, planned and participated in the killing of ethnic Tutsis in Mukingo commune (Ruhengeri) and adjoining communes in 1994. The court is currently hearing defence witnesses. Since the start of the defence case, all witnesses have been protected witnesses. Normally, such witnesses testify in open court but with their names and faces hidden from the public. Sensitive parts of their testimony likely to reveal their identity are heard in closed session. Since Monday, most of the testimonies have been heard in closed session. The trial is before Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR. This chamber has spent more hours in closed session than any of the two other chambers at the ICTR. Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR is composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). GG/FH(KJ-1128e)