Arusha, September 3, 2003 (FH) – The trial of four senior officers of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR) currently going on at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was on Wednesday morning adjourned again for lack of witnesses. The trial was adjourned after hearing the 12th prosecution witness and will resume on Thursday.

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It was a recurrence of Monday's scenario when the judges adjourned for the same reason. Barbara Mulvaney, member of the prosecution team, told the tribunal that a group of witnesses was expected to arrive on Wednesday evening. The twelfth prosecution witness, code-named “AS” to protect her identity testified most of the time in camera, and against only one of the accused, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyuva, former military commander in Gisenyi (north-west Rwanda) region. In the course of the rare moments that she testified in open session, AS was very vague on the presumed role of Nsengiyumva in the massacres despite being pressed by the defence for clarification. Anatole Nsengiyumva is represented by Kennedy Ogetto and Ottachi Mw'omwanwa from Kenya. At one moment, Ottachi Bw'omwanwa questioned the credibility of the witness, when the latter, despite claiming to have lived in Gisenyi for seven years, could not identify the different administrative, military and political figures. Nsengiyumva is being tried jointly with the former director of cabinet in the ministry of defence Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, the former head of military operations in the Rwandan army Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, former commander of the Para-commando battalion based at Kanombe (Kigali). They have pleaded not guilty to charges of, among others, conspiracy to commit genocide and war crimes. The trial, known as “Military I”, is being conducted in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judge Erik Møse of Norway (presiding), Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov of Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. KN/GA/CE/FH (ML'0903e)