Arusha, December 12th, 2000 (FH) – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday granted a defence motion challenging a new indictment against former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli, and ordered the prosecution to redraft it by Monday, December 18th, the independent news agency Hirondelle reports. But the court said Kajelijeli's genocide trial should start on January 22nd, 2001, as planned, despite difficulties faced by the defence.

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Kajelijeli's American defence counsel earlier told the court that a new indictment served on his client violated a court order of July 6th this year, as it contained new charges. In its July decision, Trial Chamber Two granted a previous defence motion for Kajelijeli's severance and separate trial. Prosecution had planned to try him with former ministers and high level politicians, but severance was granted on the basis that such a joint trial would be prejudicial to Kajelijeli's rights. "The Chamber considers that the separate indictment did not fully comply with the Directive of July 6th," said Judge Mehmet Güney of Turkey delivering the court's decision. "The Trial Chamber holds that differences between the original and separate indictments could lead the accused to believe that new charges had been brought against him, especially charges related to events in Ruhengeri [northwest Rwanda] and allegations of rape. "The judge further added that the Prosecution should file charges "in the same order and manner as the original indictment". In his motion, Hinds said the court, in its July decision, had "ordered the Prosecutor to file a separate indictment pertaining only to Mr Kajelijeli from the existing confirmed indictment" but that the Prosecutor ignored this and filed an amended indictment involving new charges. He said that he was served in August with 41 new witness statements, backing the charges. With regard to the witness statements, the court said that Prosecution had followed disclosure rules and that therefore "nothing changes" with regard to the planned date for start of trial. Hinds had further told the court that his bilingual co-counsel was engaged on another trial at present, and that his own lack of French prevented him from communicating directly with his client or conducting necessary investigations on the new witness statements in Rwanda. He asked for at least six more months to prepare for trial. When pushed by the judges, however, he conceded that he would be ready to start trial on the basis of the original indictment. The Prosecution had argued that its new indictment was "more specific" because it was directed at one man rather than a group, but that "the thrust of the allegations is the same " and that it had respected the Chamber's July orderJC/FH (KJ%1212E)