Arusha, February 1, 2000 (FH) - The Registry of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will appoint a new defence team for genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza "as soon as possible", a spokesman said on Tuesday, but declined to say who the lawyers might be, the independent news agency Hirondelle reports. Kingsley Moghalu, spokesman for the ICTR and special assistant to its Registrar was speaking after an Appeals Court ruling that Barayagwiza should be assigned a new counsel and co-counsel, ahead of a crucial February 22nd hearing.

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Barayagwiza rejected his Kenyan lawyer Justry Nyaberi, accusing him of fraud and incompetence. Informed sources say Barayagwiza now wants a Washington lawyer, John C. Floyd, and a Canadian lawyer, Carmel Marchesseau, and that the two are available. Moghalu would not confirm or deny this. Nyaberi had been representing 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 Appeal Court, normally based in The Hague (Netherlands), is to sit in Arusha later this month. It was originally due to hear the Prosecutor's review request on February 15th, but this date has now been changed to February 22nd. The Rwandan government has also asked to appear as amicus curiae (friend of the court) at the hearing. Moghalu said that this was now "very likely". He pointed to an Appeals Court scheduling order of December 8th which states that "the government of Rwanda may appear as amicus curiae with respect to the modalities of the release of the Appellant, if this question is reached. "Rwanda suspended cooperation with the ICTR after the Appeals Court decision ordering that Barayagwiza should be released and sent back to Cameroon where he was arrested. In its amicus curiae request, Kigali argued that if Barayagwiza were released, he should be sent to Rwanda and not to Cameroon. The authorities promised that if he were sent to Rwanda, they would waive the death penalty, even if Barayagwiza were found guilty. Under Rwandan law, Barayagwiza is a "Category One" suspect who would normally face the death penalty upon conviction. 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)