Arusha, March 15, 2000(FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday ordered the prosecution to hand over to the defence transcripts of interviews with former Rwandan minister Justin Mugenzi. Mugenzi's British defence lawyer Howard Morrison had asked for transcripts in English of prosecution interviews with Mugenzi conducted after his arrest in Cameroon in April 1999.

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He also demanded a "valid" indictment, saying that the one given to his client did not bear the official seal of the ICTR. Tanzanian judge William Sekule, sitting alone on the bench, ordered the prosecution to submit the transcripts to Mugenzi's defence team by March 24th at the latest. He also gave Mugenzi 40 days from the date of receipt of these documents to file any pre-trial motions. Sekule also reminded the ICTR Registry of its duty to ensure that in future, all copies of indictments transmitted to the accused bear the seal of the Tribunal. Mugenzi was Minister of Commerce in the Rwandan interim government which presided over the 1994 genocide. He is jointly accused with three other former ministers of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity. One of his co-accused, former Minister for the Civil Service Prosper Mugiraneza last week argued similar requests which were granted by the judge. CR/JC/FH (PL%0315e)