Arusha, March 6, 2003 (FH) - The Butare trial being heard at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was on Thursday morning adjourned to Monday soon after the beginning of the session due to a sick witness. The Butare trial groups together six people accused of organising and perpetrating killings in the province of Butare, Southern Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide.

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They are former minister for family and women's affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son an alleged former militia leader Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, former mayor of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi, former mayor of Muganza Elie Ndayambaje and two former prefects of Butare Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo. An officer from the Registrar announced to the court that the twentieth prosecution witness, named SS to shield her identity from the public, could not testify in court because she was unwell. SS was expected to be crossexamined by of Charles Tchakounte Patie of Cameroon, the lead defence counsel of Nsabimana. During crossexamination on Wednesday by Nyiramasuhuko's defence counsel Nicole Bergevin, the witness sounded emotional. At one point, she told Ms Bergevin: “From time to time I have the impression that you make my head spin. ”The witness had a hard time with counsel Bergevin throughout the two days of her cross examination mainly due to several contradictions between her oral testimony and the written statement she made to the ICTR investigators on November 20, 1996. Witness SS was also reminded several times by Judge Sekule to answer the questions put to her. “Translators could you tell witness SS that the question being asked is valid, she should listen carefully and respond”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. SV/CE/FH (BU0603e)