Arusha, 11 November, 2008 (FH) - Trial Chamber II of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) warned Alphonse Nteziryayo, one of six accused in "Butare Trial" to attend the court proceedings Wednesday short of which the Chamber would assume that he has forfeited his rights and continue sessions in his absentia.

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Former Governor Nteziryayo could not sustain his back pains during the afternoon session on Monday, forcing the Chamber to adjourn the case to Tuesday hoping that he would be well and return to court, but it was not the case. He decided not to come to the court without any official medical report over his health condition.

"We have to go by the medical report," remarked Presiding Judge William Sekule adding: "We need a comprehensive report about the health condition of the accused because we are not expert in this [health] field."

Tanzanian Judge ordered the Registry to inform the accused that failure to appear in court would be considered as having forsaken his rights.

The ruling further instructed the Registry to ensure that the accused got the right medical attention before the case was adjourned to Wednesday.

A week ago the court suspended the Examination-in-Chief of the last accused in the trial, Elie Ndayambaje, former Mayor of Muganza commune at the request of Ntezirayo who was ill and would wish to be present during the last part of Ndayambaje's testimony, claiming that it was relevant for his defence.

Others accused are Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister for Family and Women Affairs and her son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali; former Mayor, Joseph Kanyabashi and ex-Governor, Sylvain Nsabimana.

The trial started in June 2001.

All have pleaded not guilty to genocide, crimes against humanity and public incitements.


© Hirondelle News Agency