Arusha, October 10th, 2002 (FH) - The genocide trial of former mayor of Mukingo commune in the north west of Rwanda, Juvenal Kajelijeli was on Wednesday prematurely adjourned until November 18th after four defence witnesses failed to make it to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Tanzania. The four are detainees in Rwandan jails.

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According to the defence, the witnesses had fulfilled all the requirements needed to travel to Arusha but had been delayed by state authorities. Defence counsel for Kajelijeli, Lennox Hinds of the US also told the court that a prosecutor in the north west Rwanda province of Ruhengeri had intimidated a defence witness only identified as “RGM”. Hinds said he was yet to verify the reports. In a related event, prosecutor Ken Fleming of Australia apologized to Kajelijeli’s defence over an incident in which, contrary to tribunal rules, a prosecution investigator had contacted a protected defence witness and acquired a statement from him. Fleming said that the statement would be handed over to the defence and that the prosecution would ensure that no similar incident happens in the future. Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, before which the trial is being heard, will from Monday resume the so-called ‘Butare trial’. The trial brings together six former personalities from the Butare province accused of organizing and implementing killings in the province 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. GG/FH(KJ-1010e)