Arusha, August 8, 2003 (FH) -The closing arguments in the so-called Cyangugu trial begin on Monday before Trial Chamber Three of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial which began on September 18, 2000, groups together the former minister of transport and communication in the interim government, 53 year-old André Ntagerura, the former prefect of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki, 54, the former military commander of Karambo barracks in Cyangugu, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe, 42.

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All the accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the genocide in 1994. Ntagerura is accused of having allowed or authorised the use of government vehicles, specifically buses belonging to the state owned transport company, ONATRACOM, for the transportation of [Interahamwe] militia, as well as the transportation of arms and ammunitions to Cyangugu region during the genocide. He was arrested March 27 1996 in Cameroon. Prosecutors allege that Lieutenant Imanishimwe, in consort with Bagambiki, helped prepare lists of people to eliminate. These lists were given to soldiers under Imanishimwe's command and militiamen with orders to arrest and kill the persons listed. Both are also accused by the prosecution of having played a big role in the massacres of Tutsi refugees at Kamarampaka stadium and Nyamasheke parish among other sites. Prosecutors also allege that refugees who had taken refuge in Cyangugu Cathedral were escorted to Kamarampaka stadium by civilian and military authorities including Bagambiki. Subsequently, using lists already prepared, these Tutsis were called out by name and executed at a place called Gatandara. The trial had adjourned on April 3, 2003 after one of the accused, Bagambiki, finished testifying before the tribunal. The trial took in total 160 trial days and auditioned 126 witnesses. Bagambiki was arrested in Togo June 5, 1998 while Imanishimwe was arrested August 11, 1997 in KenyaEmmanuel Bagambiki is defended by Vincent Lurquin from Belgium, assisted by Seydou Doumbia, a Belgian of Malian descent. Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwes defence team is made up of Marie-Louise Mbida and Jean Pierre Fofe, from Cameroon and D. R Congo respectively. Canadian Benoît Henry and Hamuli Rety wa Mudeydey from France, are André Ntageruras defence counsel. The prosecution is led by Richard Karegesa from Uganda, and is assisted by Andra Mobberley from New Zealand and Holo Makwaia from Tanzania. Bagambiki and Imanishimwe's defence teams called 25 witnesses each, while the former minister called 32 witnesses to testify on his behalf. Chamber Three in this trial is composed of Judge George Lloyd Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis, and is assisted by Judge Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. KN/FH(CY'0808e)