Arusha, March 14, 2001(FH) - A lawyer for genocide suspect Hassan Ngeze on Wednesday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to declare a prosecution witness "hostile to the defence" and scrap his testimony, reports the independent news agency Hirondelle. René Martel of Canada was speaking while cross-questioning the twelfth prosecution witness in the Media Trial.

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The witness, Adrien Rangira, is a former journalist and now a member of Rwanda’s parliament. He has been testifying since Monday. "He is calling me ’tu’ [familiar form of you in French]," Martel told the court. "He says I am making gratuitous statements. I cannot accept being treated like that. Such behaviour is clearly hostile. "Martel said the witness was testifying to things that he had not seen himself and was therefore "not credible". Rangira has testified about the Kangura newspaper, of which Ngeze was editor, and "hate radio" Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). Ngeze is being tried with former RTLM director Ferdinand Nahimana, and ex-politician and RTLM board member Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. Presiding judge Navanethem Pillay told Martel that "these are matters we will reserve to the end of the case". She also told the witness that he must answer defence questions and "observe normal rules of courtesy". Prosecutor William Egbe of Cameroon had previously complained that Martel was "harassing" Rangira with "repetitive questions". Egbe said the witness had reacted inappropriately only because he felt harassed. Adrien Rangira had said he did not want to answer Martel’s questions on cartoons that appeared in Kangura and other publications. On Tuesday, the court explained to the witness that it was his duty to answer all the questions. Rangira’s cross-questioning has been marked by several heated exchanges with Ngeze’s defence, leading the court to call both parties to order. His testimony continues with cross-questioning by Nahimana’s British co-counsel Diana Ellis. AT/JC/PHD/FH (ME_0314E)