|Africa||RWANDAN BISHOP'S GENOCIDE TRIAL ADJOURNED|
The trial of a bishop accused of genocide and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has been adjourned until next week.
Court officials said the trial of Bishop Augustin Misago was adjourned late on Wednesday and will start again next Thursday with testimony from witnesses.
The trial began in a packed court in the Rwandan capital on Tuesday. The 56 year old prelate pleaded not guilty and categorically rejected all the charges against him.
The bishop stands accused of five counts of genocide, including colluding with local authorities to send three priests and some 30 schoolchildren to their deaths at the hands of militiamen in his diocese of Gikongoro in southern Rwanda. Kigali public prosecutor Emmanuel Rukangira said nuns and priests from Misago's diocese as well as survivors would be called to testify against the bishop when the trial resumes.
On Wednesday, Misago told the court he had attended meetings with senior authorities in the former government -- including the then Prime Minister Jean Kambanda -- but only to appeal for an end to the killings and ensure that emergency food supplies reached displaced people.
Reuters 11:12am 17/9/99