Arusha, February 11, 2004 (FH)- The military case involving the former director of cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of defense, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and three other senior military officials, was on Wednesday postponed again at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after a second judge fell ill. Rule 15 bis of the tribunal allows for two judges to sit for up to five full working days in the absence of the third judge.

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One judge cannot seat on behalf of the three judges who compose a chamber. On Tuesday, two prosecution witnesses code-named EQ and VCH respectively, were reported to have been sick along with Judge SergueiAleckseievichEgorov from Russia. When court resumed Wednesday, the two witnesses had recovered, but a second judge, Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji, was also reported to have fallen ill, thereby causing the trials to be suspended. So far, 40 prosecution witnesses have already testified. Ten more are expected to have testified by the end of March. In the military trial, Bagosora is jointly accused with the former military commander of Gisenyi region, Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, the former chief of operations of the Rwandan army. Brigadier Gratien Kabiligi, and Major Aloys Ntabakuze, who was the commander of the Para-commando battalion based In Kanombe (Kigali). All have pleaded not guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial is taking place in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, presided over by the Norwegian Judge Erik Mose, who is assisted by judges Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. SV/KN/AT/FH (ML''0211e)