Arusha, August 27, 2003 (FH) The Prosecution closed its case on Wednesday in Gacumbitsi trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after presenting 15 witnesses. Sylvestre Gacumbitsi, the former mayor of Rusumo commune, Kibungo Prefecture (Eastern Rwanda) is charged with five counts related to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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They include genocide or in the alternative, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder and rape as crimes against humanity. On Wednesday American historian and human rights activist, Alison Des Forge completed her testimony. Des Forges was cross-examined by defense counsel Kouengoua from CameroonThe historian was asked by Judge Jai Ram Reddy of Fiji about the killings at Nyarubuye parish in Rusumo commune and she confirmed that there were indeed killings at the Parish which she visited in August, 1994. She told the court, Estimating numbers is the most difficult aspect of evaluating a catastrophe. . . however, the estimated number of people dead at the parish ground was around 10,000 people or fewer. "There are allegations that more than 20,000 people were killed at Nyarubuye parish. The prosecutor in this trial is Richard Karegesya of Uganda assisted by Andra Mobberley from New Zealand and Holo Makwaia of Tanzania. The trial is before Trial Chamber Three, which is presided over by Senegalese judge Andresia Vaz, Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji and Serguei Aleckseivich Egorov from Russia. SV/FH (GA'0827e)