Arusha, August 11th, '99 (FH) - Prosecutors on Wednesday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for leave to add more charges to the indictment of top genocide suspect Théoneste Bagosora. Bagosora was advisor (chef de cabinet) to the Rwandan defence ministry, and is seen as one of the main architects of the 1994 genocide that left up to one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead.

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The prosecution wants to try him with three senior commanders in the former Rwandan army: Anatole Nsengiyumva, Aloys Ntabakuze and Gratien Kabiligi. Bagosora is already charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions on war crimes. The proposed new charges include conspiracy to commit genocide and complicity in genocide, plus new crimes against humanity charges of rape and persecution. Tanzanian judge William Sekule, presiding over Trial Chamber Two, said the court would deliver its decision on Thursday afternoon. Similar requests to amend the indictments against Nsengiyumva, Ntabakuze and Kabiligi are due to be heard later on Wednesday. If leave is granted, the prosecution will then seek leave to have the four tried jointly. Judges deliberating joinder of Cyangugu groupAlso on Wednesday, prosecutors asked leave to join four other accused, known as the Cyangugu group, in a single trial. They are former Minister for Transport and Communications André Ntagerura, former prefect of Cyangugu Emmanuel Bagambiki, former military commander Samuel Imanishimwe and former militia leader Yussuf Munyakazi, who is still on the run. The crimes of which they are accused were all committed in the Cyangugu area of southwest Rwanda. Prosecutors argued that a joint trial would save the ICTR both time and money, especially as witnesses could be brought all together for the three accused. They told the court that as judicial proceedings were at the same stage for all three, joinder would not pose procedural problems. Defence lawyers for Ntagerura, Bagambiki and Imanishimwe argued, however, that joinder would be against the interests of justice, as their clients would have to answer to charges relating to four people. "We don't want someone to be tried for acts which he has not committed and against which he cannot therefore defend himself," Bagambiki's Belgian defence counsel told the court. Defence lawyers said a joint trial would also go against their clients' right to trial within a reasonable time period, as Munyakazi has not yet been arrested. They said their clients had already spent a considerable time in detention, especially Ntagerura who was arrested more than three years ago. Jamaican judge Lloyd Williams, presiding over Trial Chamber Three, said the court would deliberate on the joinder request and deliver its decision at an unspecified later date. JC/FH (BG§0811e)