Arusha, September 25, 2003 (FH) – The trial of senior army officers in the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR), did not resume on Thursday as expected at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Sources within the office of the prosecutor informed Hirondelle News Agency that the judges were, for the second day running, still locked behind doors deliberating on motions filed by the defence.

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The judges, who were supposed to render a written decision on Thursday afternoon, are yet to announce it to all parties. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR had adjourned on Tuesday following a deadlock brought about by the defence teams' opposition to what they termed as “new evidence” not included in the indictment. This new turn of events arose after that tribunal had heard, for the second time, a protected witness code-named “DBY”. DBY, a former member of the Para-commando battalion based in Kigali, last testified on September 15, 2003, but his testimony was cut short because one of defence lawyers was absent while the other had fallen ill. The tribunal had then decided to recall him at a later date. In the “military I” trial, the former director of cabinet in the ministry of defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, is being jointly tried with the former head of military operations of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi, former army commander of Gisenyi region, Lt. Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, and the former commander of the Para-commando battalion in Kanombe (Kigali), Major Aloys Ntabakuze. The chamber convened on Thursday afternoon for a status conference in camera. They ordered that the trial resume on Friday morning with the cross-examination of the 18th witness code-named “DBQ”. The defence will only cross-examine him on what he has already testified on. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR is composed of Judge Erik Møse from Norway (presiding), Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov from Russia, and Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji. KN/CE/FH (ML'0925e)