Arusha, March 10, 2003 (FH) - The twentieth prosecution witness in the so called Butare trial who fall sick last Thursday and compelled the court to adjourn, has on Monday resumed her testimony. The witness, a Tutsi woman dubbed SS for security reasons, was being crossexamined by Charles Tchakounte Patie of Cameroon, cocounsel for genocide suspect and former Prefect of Butare, South East Rwanda, Sylvain Nsabimana.

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The trial groups six accused persons. Other coaccused include former Minister of Family and Women Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, another former Prefect of Butare, Alphonse Nteziryayo who took over from Nsabimana and two former Mayors, Joseph Kanyabashi of Ngoma and Elie Ndayambaje of Muganza. Witness SS gave on Monday an almost similar account to the one she gave during cross questioning by counsel for Nyiramasuhuko, Nicole Bergevin during a twoday cross examination last week. She blamed interpreters and investigators of the ICTR for not recording her testimony properly when she was first interviewed by them in November 20, 1996. Part of her written statement contradicts her oral testimony in court. "He was in charge of the whole prefecture when refugees were being abducted from the prefecture office," asserted witness SS in response to a question asked by counsel Tchakounte who wanted to know whether Prefect Nsabimana had the means to control the people who made trouble to the refugees. The witness maintained that the accused, Nsabiamana, spoke to the refugees at the prefecture though she could not give the date, the exact place and even the words he was purported to have spoken to refugees. Witness SS was also crossexamined by Richard Perras of Canada, cocounsel for Nteziryayo and Michel Marchand, also from Canada, counsel for Kanyabashi. The suspects among other things are accused of planning, supervising and fuelling massacres in the South East Butare prefecture. The crossexamination of witness SS by counsel Marchand continues on Tuesday. The Butare trial is before Trial Chamber II, presided over by Tanzanian Judge William Sekule, assisted by Judges Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (BU'0310e)