Arusha, June 21st, 2000 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has refused to give French investigating magistrate Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière a confidential report on the plane crash that killed Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana. "As much as the judges wanted to be of assistance, they decided that there was no rule or other avenue under which they could hand over the report," ICTR spokesman Kingsley Moghalu told Hirondelle on Wednesday.

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Moghalu said that although Trial Chambers One and Three of the ICTR had ruled to disclose the report to the defence teams of three genocide suspects, their decisions related only to those specific cases. The suspects concerned are former Rwandan mayor Ignace Bagilishema, and former military leaders Gratien Kabiligi and Aloys Ntabakuze. The document reportedly contains information suggesting that Habyarimana's death, which sparked the 1994 genocide, was masterminded by the current Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The memorandum was written in 1997 by an Australian investigator who was working for the ICTR prosecution. The Tribunal says he wrote it "on his own initiative" after he had left and was working for the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) in New York. Its existence became known after it was leaked to a Canadian newspaper, the National Post, earlier this year. It was sent to the ICTR, whose president put it under seal. The ICTR has so far refused several defence requests demanding that it order a full inquiry into the crash. Prosecutors argued that this was not within the ICTR's mandate and that the defence should wait for the outcome of an international inquiry by Judge Bruguière. A French court has mandated Bruguière to conduct an international inquiry into the downing of the 'plane, on behalf of the families of three French crew who also died in the crash. Burundi's president Cyprien Ntaryamira died alongside his Rwandan counterpart. Habyarimana's 'plane was shot down over Kigali on April 6th, 1994. His assassination was the trigger for the start of the genocide, which left some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead in less than three months. Informed sources say that there is nothing in the report which did not appear in the National Post article of March 1st. Names of the informers and of the so-called "network" of conspirators are said to be contained in an earlier memorandum by Hourigan when he was still working at the Office of the Prosecutor. Its whereabouts are not known. Defence lawyers for other genocide suspects on trial at the ICTR are likely to continue bombarding the Tribunal with motions for disclosure of the report. The ICTR will have to hear, and decide on each motion on a separate basis. JC/FH (RW%0621e)