Arusha, October 20th, '99 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday gave the defence lawyer for former Rwandan journalist Hassan Ngeze an extra week to prepare a response to an indictment amendment request. The prosecution on Monday sought leave to amend the indictment against the accused, adding four new charges, including genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.

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It wants to join Ngeze's trial to that of two other suspects linked to the extremist media that incited genocide in Rwanda. Ngeze is charged with incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity. At the time of the 1994 genocide, he was editor of the extremist newspaper Kangura. Ngeze's defence lawyer Patricia Mongo (Republic of Congo) had been due to respond on Tuesday to prosecution requests for amendment of the indictment and for the protection of witnesses. However, she argued she had not had time to familiarize herself thoroughly with the case at hand and discuss it properly with her client. "When I was assigned on September 26th, my client at first opposed my appointment and it was not until the beginning of October that I started work," Ms Mongo told the court. She said that she had only received the prosecution's memo in support of its amendment request a day before (on Tuesday). Trial Chamber One, presided by South African judge Navanathem Pillay ruled that "Ngeze has a right to more time to prepare his defence". It gave the defence until October 26th to submit a written response. Pillay said that if the response were submitted any later, the Chamber would not take it into account. The court gave the prosecution a deadline of October 30th to respond in writing to the defence response. Ngeze was arrested on July 18, 1997 in Kenya and transferrred to the United Nations detention facility in Arusha the same day. JC/FH (NG§1020e)