Arusha, February, 26, 2001(FH) - The prosecution in the ’media trial’ told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday that "at the current speed of the trial", it would be closing its case on July, 23rd, 2001. The ’media trial’ groups former director of Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) Ferdinand Nahimana, former editor of the extremist newspaper "Kangura" Hassan Ngeze and former politician and RTLM board member Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza.

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The three are accused of having used the media to incite the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are charged with several counts of genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. They have all pleaded not guilty. Prosecutor William Egbe of Cameroon also said prosecution was "looking at 40 more witnesses" to finalize its case. Seven witnesses have so far testified in this trial since it started on October 23rd last year. Prosecution had at the beginning of the trial indicated that it would call 97 witnesses. Egbe said prosecution needed about one week for each two witnesses, making a total of about twenty weeks to hear the forty witnesses. He further promised that "we will even surprise the court by finishing before this estimate. " The revelation follows a court request last week that the prosecution indicate how long it would take to complete its case. The trial is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/FH(ME_0226e)