Arusha, April 10, 2002 (FH) - The trial of former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli was on Wednesday adjourned to September, after the prosecution announced that is was closing its case before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR). The case resumed on Monday after a break of nearly four months, but was adjourned when two scheduled prosecution witnesses declined to come before the Tribunal to testify.

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On Wednesday, Prosecutor Ken Fleming of Australia informed the court that the prosecution was ready to close its case, as the two witnesses were not available. "We are closing the case," the prosecutor said. Kajelijeli, former Mukingo mayor in Ruhengeri province has denied 11 counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Prosecution maintains he instigated, planned and participated in the killing of ethnic Tutsi in Mukingo and adjoining communes in 1994. Fleming said that the prosecution may exercise its right to call the two witnesses at a later stage in the proceedings, in rebuttal of the defence case. He suggested that the defence proceed with its case. "We have made a decision that it is necessary to call the two witnesses, we could leave these two witnesses for rebuttal," Fleming said. "There are quite some delicate discussions going forward and we don't want to interrupt," Fleming informed the court, referring to the witnesses. There was noobjection by the defence. On Monday, the prosecution informed the court that the two witnesses had refused to come and testify after a radio announcement by the Rwandan association of genocide survivors that they should not appear before the Tribunal. The court heard that the witnesses have indicated they are waiting to be told over radio that they can appear before the court. Lawyers American Professor Lennox Hinds and Professor Nkeyi Bompaka of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) represent Kajelijeli. Professor Hinds told the court he was "sympathetic" to the situation of the prosecution but that he would reserve the right to file a motion regarding the testimonies of some witnesses. He intended to recall some prosecution witnesses but there were some documents yet to be provided from Rwanda, he said. 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. Judge Sekule said there would be a meeting between the court, the prosecution and the defence on Monday to work out details of the start of the defence case. The defence case is set to start on September 16, 2002. At the close of the prosecution case, 14 witnesses had testified. SW/JA/FH(KJ-0410e)