Arusha, February 10, 2004 (FH) – The military case involving former director of cabinet in the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Theoneste Bagosoraand three other senior military officials was on Tuesday postponed for one day at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after one of the judges and witnesses fell ill. The court was informed that two prosecution witnesses who came to Arusha have not been well since their arrival and hence could not testify.

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The two witnesses are code-named EQ and VCH. Judge Serguei Egorov from Russia has also been ill for the second consecutive. “He has suddenly felt uncomfortable and cannot be with us at this moment,” presiding judge Erik Mose told the court during the first day the judge was absent. The absence of Judge Egorov did however not delay the proceeding because two judges have been sitting in pursuance of rule 15 bis of the tribunal which allows two judges to sit for up to five full working days in the absence of the third judge. 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 former 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 in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, presided by Norwegian Judge Erik Mose, assisted by judges Serguei Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. SV/CE/FH (ML'0210e)