Arusha, November 7th, 2000(FH) - Former Rwandan Education Minister AndréRwamakuba lost three members of his family to Hutu militias during the 1994genocide and could not be "tried together with the same people who killedhis relatives", the defendant's lawyer told the International CriminalTribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. British defence counsel David Hooper was speaking as he presented a motionto have Rwamakuba's trial separated from that of three other genocidesuspects.

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Rwamakuba is due to be tried with Edouard Karemera, who wasInterior Minister in the interim government that presided over thegenocide, Joseph Nzirorera, who was Secretary-General of the former singleparty MRND, and Mathieu Ngirumpatse, who was the MRND president. Counsel Hooper also argued that unlike his co-accused, Rwamakuba was not amember of MRND, the presidential party implicated in the preparation ofgenocide. He further said that his client had not held any public officeprior to the one in the interim government. However, prosecutors urged the court to reject the severance motion. Theyargued that although Rwamakuba was not a member of MRND, he had been in theextremist, pro-MRND wing of his party known as MDR-POWER. The prosecutionsaid that MDR-POWER had, like other such parties, played a big role ininciting Hutus to kill Tutsis. Prosecutors further said that Rwamakuba had been involved in anti-Tutsicampaigns three months before his appointment as minister. They said he andhis co-accused had travelled around the country calling throughloudspeakers for Hutus to kill Tutsis. Prosecutors quoted Rwamakuba ashaving said on one occasion that "the time has come to rise up against theTutsi". Counsel Hooper said he had a witness ready to prove that Rwamakuba was inBelgium studying medicine between September 1993 and March 1994. Rwamakuba's defence also highlighted the roles of each of the otherco-accused in the creation of the interim government and said there was noevidence that Rwamakuba had any association with them. André Rwamakuba and his co-accused are together charged with genocide;complicity in genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide;crimes against humanity and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions(war crimes). GG/FH (RM%1107e)