Arusha, February 3, 2000(FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has granted genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza's request that he be represented by two North American lawyers for a crucial Appeals Court hearing on February 22nd. The ICTR Registry on Wednesday assigned Carmelle Marchessault (lead counsel) of Canada and David Danielson (Washington State Bar), as the defendant had asked.

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The appointment was made immediately after an Appeals Court ruling on January 31st ordered the Registry to assign Barayagwiza a new counsel and a co-counsel. Official sources at the ICTR said Marchesseau had been on the Tribunal's list of approved lawyers since January 17th and that Danielson had already asked to be added to the list. Barayagwiza rejected his former defence counsel Justry Nyaberi of Kenya, accusing him of incompetence and fraud. The Appeals Court overruled earlier decisions by both the ICTR Registrar and President that there were no "exceptional circumstances" justifying a change of lawyer and that time was too short. Nyaberi had represented Barayagwiza since December 1997. On November 3rd 1999, the Appeals Court ordered Barayagwiza's release on the grounds that procedures had been repeatedly violated during his initial detention in Cameroon and after his transfer to the ICTR prison in Arusha. However, the Prosecutor requested a review of the decision on the basis that she had "new facts". The Appeals Court, normally based in The Hague (Netherlands), is to sit in Arusha later this month, and will hear the Prosecutor's review request on February 22nd. The Rwandan government has also asked to appear as amicus curiae (friend of the court) at the hearing. Rwanda suspended cooperation with the ICTR after the Appeals Court decision ordering that Barayagwiza be released and sent back to Cameroon where he was arrested. Barayagwiza was a founder of the hate radio Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which incited Hutus to kill Tutsis, and of the extremist CDR political party. He was also policy advisor to the foreign ministry of the Rwandan interim government which presided over the 1994 genocide. JC/FH (BR%0201f)