Arusha, December 4, 2003 (FH) – The trial of four senior officers of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR), again failed to resume on Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The so-called “Military I” trial had been adjourned on Wednesday because the only available witness, dubbed “BC” to protect his identity, had fallen ill in the middle of his testimony.

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He had been scheduled to resume his testimony on Thursday but the court was informed that his health had not improved. The prosecution went on to inform the tribunal that its next witness, code-named “DA”, had arrived late on Wednesday evening and would not be ready to testify until Monday. The court and both parties then retired to hold a status conference to discuss the next year's calendar of the proceedings. The present session is scheduled to go until December 17, just before the beginning of the end-of-the-year judicial recess. The trial groups together the former director of Cabinet in the Rwandan ministry of defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the former head of military operations of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi, the former army commander of Gisenyi region, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, former commander of the elite Kanombe Para-military battalion in Kigali. They have all pleaded not guilty to multiple charges related to genocide and crimes against humanity. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR which is hearing the case is made up of Judge Erik Møse of Norway (presiding) assisted by Judge Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov from Russia and Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. So far the prosecution has called 34 witnesses. KN/CE/FH (ML'1204e)