Arusha, October 28, 2003 (FH) – The trial of genocide suspect and former mayor of Rusumo commune Sylvestre Gacumbitsi, being heard at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will resume on Monday the 17th of November, the prosecutor in this case, Richard Karegyesa confirmed to Hirondelle News Agency. The trial was adjourned on October21st after the testimony of the eighteenth defence witness.

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It is expected that Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji who was away due to “family reasons” for more than a week, will have returned. The trial was adjourned in application of article 15 bis of the Rules of Evidence and Procedure which authorizes two out of three judges to continue sitting in a trial but only during a period not exceeding five trial days. The defense is yet to present two more factual witnesses and three expert witnesses. Gacumbitsi will testify last. The former mayor is charged with five counts, which include genocide, or in the alternative complicity in genocide, extermination, murder and rape as crimes against humanity in relation with massacres of Tutsis perpetrated in several locations in his commune during the 1994 genocide. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The trial is before Trial Chamber Three, which is presided over by Senegalese judge and ICTR vice-president Andresia Vaz, assisted by judges Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji and Serguei Aleckseivich Egorov from Russia. SV/CE/FH (GA1028e)