Arusha, June 20, 2003 (FH) - The trial of four former senior Rwandan army officers will resume on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Trial Chamber One of the ICTR hearing the case adjourned Thursday after hearing the fourth prosecution witness, Omar Serushago, a former Interahamwe militia leader in Gisenyi who, in 1999, pleaded guilty to genocide and was sentenced for 15 years in prison by the tribunal.

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The session on Thursday ended with a status conference held in closed session and meant to plan the hearings of prosecution witnesses for the coming week. Serushago's testimony was an attempt by the prosecution to shed light on incriminating evidence against one of the accused, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, former military commander in Gisenyi (northwestern Rwanda). The prosecution is expected to produce four witnesses as of Monday, all of whom will have their identities kept secret for security purposes. All in all, the prosecution intends to call a total of 121 witnesses. The trial groups together the former director of cabinet in the ministry of defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the former head of military operations in the Rwandan army Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi, and Major Aloys Ntabakuze who used to be the commander of the Paracommando battalion based at Kanombe (Kigali)The four officers have pleaded not guilty to war crimes and conspiracy to commit genocide among others. Chamber one is composed of Judge Erik Møse from Norway (presiding), Serguei Aleckseievich of Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. KN/CE/FH (ML'0620e)