Arusha, March 20, 2002 (FH) - The so-called Cyangugu Trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was adjourned on Wednesday because the defence witness scheduled to testify was unwell, reports the independent news agency Hirondelle. The witness known only as "DAR" to protect his identity is the thirteenth defence witness for one of the three accused in the trial, former Rwandan Transport Minister Andre Ntagerura.

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The court was told that a medical report on the patient had shown he was not in a position to attend the day's proceedings. It is hoped that DAR will appear before the Tribunal on Thursday. The Cyangugu trial groups Ntagerura, former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and former commander of the military barracks in Cyangugu, Samuel Imanishimwe. The prosecution maintains that all three are guilty of massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu (south west Rwanda) during the 1994 genocide. They have pleaded not guilty. Proceedings were adjourned on Tuesday afternoon, after Ntagerura's lead counsel, Canadian Benoit Henry, had been granted time to meet DAR in preparation for Wednesday's hearing. Ntagerura's defence informed the court that witness DAR would be the last witness for this week and that they intended to call five more witnesses next week. The hearing on Wednesday morning was held mainly in closed session. Ntagerura's defence team started their case in the first week of March and have so far presented twelve witnesses. Most of the defence witnesses so far have testified mainly in closed session. The case is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Three, composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JA/FH (CY-0320e)