Arusha, April 8, 2002 (FH) - The trial of six individuals charged with genocide crimes in Butare, (south of Rwanda) will resume on May 20th before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial chamber hearing the case is also hearing alternately the trial of the former mayor of Mukingo, Juvénal Kajelijeli, which restarted on Monday.

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The so-called 'Butare Trial' groups former Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Issues, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare prefects, Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and former mayors of Ngoma and Muganza, Joseph Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje. Prior to the adjournment of the trial, the tenth prosecution witness failed to identify Ntahobali, whom she had accused of having raped her during the 1994 events in Rwanda. The witness, known only as "TN" to protect her identity, is a Tutsi woman survivor of the 1994 genocide. Prosecutor Nigerian Adesola Adeboyejo questioned TN in her principal testimony. She told the court that on April 21st 1994 Ntahobali raped her after tearing her clothes with a knife. The witness pointed at an ICTR security officer and identified him as the accused Ntahobali who had allegedly raped her. TN was seventeen years old at the time of alleged attack. The accused, said the witness, also inserted broomsticks into her private parts and ordered three militiamen to assault her in the same way. She also told the court that Ntahobali ordered the militiamen to rape her. TN said Ntahobali ordered the militiamen to sexually assault six other young girls who were locked up with her in a house. "We stayed there for five days," said the witness, who testified in Kinyarwanda. She added that they ate nothing but were given water to drink before being raped. The witness said that Ntahobali raped her again before she was taken to a refugee camp in Burundi where she was 'made a wife' to a militiaman she identified only as Alexis. She said he ordered other militiamen to rape her. Defence teams declined to cross-question the witness after her testimony. Ntahobali's co-counsel Normand Marquis of Canada said it was not necessary to cross-examine the witness given that she could not identify the person she accused of raping her. TN is the second witness in the Butare trial to testify having been raped by Ntahobali. On October 26th last year, another witness known as "TA" told of rape ordeals and said the accused Ntahobali was one of her attackers. The hearing is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). SW/JA/FH (BT-0408e)