Arusha, November 9th, 2000 (FH) - Defence counsel for former hate-radiodirector Ferdinand Nahimana on Thursday submitted a motion before theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to have a prosecutionwitness sanctioned for false testimony. The court said it would consider the motion, andadjourned the trial to January 31st.

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French counsel for the defence Jean-Marie Biju-Duval said that protectedwitness AEN had told the court on November 7th that he had been inside thecommunal offices in Gitonde (Ruhengeri prefecture, northwest Rwanda) onApril 12th, 1994, and had heard Nahimana, the former director of RadioTélévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), inciting people to kill Tutsis,but that on November 9th, under questioning from Judge Gunawardena of SriLanka, AEN said he had been outside and had not heard anything. "There are a thousand other reasons to pursue this witness for falsetestimony," Biju-Duval told the court, "but this example alone is enough. One of the statements is obviously false. " British co-counsel Diana Ellishad already accused the witness of lying several times duringcross-examination and sought to show that AEN, a Hutu ex-informer for thepro-Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), was used to lying in public. Thedefence intends to present an alibi argument, believed to be particularlystrong for April 12th. Biju-Duval asked Trial Chamber One to apply sanctions under Article 91 ofthe ICTR's Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which says that:"If a Chamber has strong grounds for believing that a witness may haveknowingly and wilfully given false testimony, the Chamber may direct theProsecutor to investigate the matter with a view to the preparation andsubmission of an indictment for false testimony. "The Rules also say that the maximum penalty for false testimony undersolemn declaration shall be a fine $10,000 or a term of imprisonment oftwelve months, or both. But Deputy Prosecutor Bernard Muna told the court that the defence wereconfusing the witness's statements concerning different meetings, one onApril 12th and one on March 29th. The court said it would study thetranscripts of the hearings and render a decision in due course. Nahimana is on trial with Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, who was a politician andfounder of the RTLM radio, and former Kangura newspaper editor HassanNgeze. All three face genocide charges in connection with media thatincited Hutus to kill Tutsis in 1994. The trial began on October 23rd. JC/FH (ME%1109e)