Arusha, January 29, 2004 (FH) – Trial Chamber Two of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), on Thursday ordered four defence counsels who boycotted the session in the so called “Butare trial” to appear in court on Friday morning to enable the proceedings to continue. On the same note the presiding Judge, William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania invited the accused who were not present along with their counsels to attend the session.

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Butare trial was adjourned on Wednesday, the first day of a three-day strike launched by defence counsels at the ICTR. The trial was expected to continue on Thursday, but when it resumed, only two accused out of six were there with their counsels. The two suspects are Joseph Kanyabashi, former Mayor of Ngoma commune and that of Muganza commune, Elie Ndayambaje. The two had also attended the opening session on Wednesday but the court decided to postpone the hearing hoping that others would call off the strike and come to court the following day. The four accused who did not appear include two former Butare prefects, Alphonse Nteziryayo and Sylvain Nsabimana and the former minister of Family and Women Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali. Trial Chamber One had earlier in the morning adjourned the so called ‘Military I' trial which groups together four former Rwandan senior military officers (ex-FAR) on similar grounds. It is also expected to resume on Friday. Judge Sekule is assisted in Chamber Two by Judges Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar and Salome Bossa of Uganda. NI/KN/CE/FH (BT''0129e)