Arusha, February 18, 2003 (FH)- The trial known as the “Butare trial”, went into the third consecutive day on Wednesday being heard in-camera at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial groups together six people accused of organising the massacres in Butare (southern Rwanda) in 1994.

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It has been held in closed session ever since the current protected witness, code-named “RV” to conceal his identity, started testifying on Monday. Those on trial are the former minister of women and family affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and former militia leader in Butare, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former prefects of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana and Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo, and two former mayors of Ngoma and Muganza; Joseph Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje respectively. RV is the 31st prosecution witness to be called so far. Nyiramasuhuko and her son are also particularly charged with rape, making her the first woman to be indicted for the offence. The trial continues in Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, composed of Judge William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Judge Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar and Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda. KN/CE/FH (BT''0218e)