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Rwandan genocide suspect given fortnight adjournment

By AFP

KIGALI (AFP) - Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera, deported by Canada to Kigali after a long legal battle, was on Thursday granted a two-week adjournment to his trial, the third postponement.

He will reappear in court on May 24.

Mugesera, now 59, made an infamous speech in 1992 that allegedly played a major role in sparking the 1994 genocide, in which radical ethnic Hutus killed as many as 800,000 Tutsis.

Mugesera, a linguist, allegedly called Tutsis "cockroaches" and "scum," and encouraged his fellow Hutus to kill them.

On Wednesday Mugesera told a pre-trial hearing he was taking medication and was not in sufficiently good health to stand trial and asked for an adjournment.

Presiding Judge Saudah Murererehe dismissed the plea for a postponement on health grounds.

"The medical report clearly shows that the drugs prescribed to Mugesera have no side effects, it on this note that the court disqualifies the illness plea," she said.

"However, the court grants Mugesera two weeks so that he reviews his dossier."

Mugesera had asked for one month to look over his file.

Mugesera, who returned to Rwanda in January, had already obtained two postponements on the grounds he was still putting his defence team together.

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