Arusha, March 4, 2002 (FH) - The trial of three former leaders from Cyangugu in southwest Rwanda resumed on Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It was adjourned after the prosecution closed its case against the accused on November 21st, 2001.

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This case groups former Transport Minister André Ntagerura, former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and former commander of the military barracks in Cyangugu, Samuel Imanishimwe. The Cyangugu case is alternating before ICTR's Trial Chamber Three with the case of former Bicumbi mayor Laurent Semanza, which was adjourned on February 28th. The Cyangugu trial started on September 18th, 2000. Prosecution maintains that all three accused are guilty of massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide. They have pleaded not guilty. Prosecution says civilian and military authorities, including Bagambiki, escorted refugees who had taken refuge in Cyangugu Cathedral to Kamarampaka stadium in Cyangugu. Subsequently, using lists already prepared, these Tutsis were called out by name and executed in a place called Gatandara. Former Transport Minister Ntagerura is said to have allowed or authorised the use of government vehicles, specifically buses for the transportation of [Interahamwe] militia, and for the transportation of arms and ammunitions to Cyangugu prefecture. Prosecutors allege that together with Bagambiki, former commander Imanishimwe helped prepare lists of people to eliminate. These lists were given to soldiers under Imanishimwe's command and to militiamen, with orders to arrest and kill the persons listed. At the time of the 1994 genocide, Imanishimwe was commander of the military barracks in Cyangugu. Last month, defence lawyers for Imanishimwe asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to acquit him on the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide. In their motion, his lawyers are urging the ICTR's Trial Chamber Three to find that the Prosecutor has not brought evidence to prove the conspiracy charge. Marie-Louise Mbida of Cameroon and Jean-Pierre Fofe of the Democratic Republic of Congo represent Imanishiwe. Canadian Benoit Henry and Hamuli Rety of France and the Democratic Republic of Congo represent Ntagerura, while Belgian Vincent Lurquin represents Bagambiki. This case is before Trial Chamber Three composed of judges Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia, Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding) and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JA/FH (CY-0304e)