Arusha, February, 22nd, 2001 (FH) - The lawyer for genocide suspect Hassan Ngeze on Thursday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) not to consider testimony given by a prosecution witness. Lawyer John Floyd of the US made the request after a heated cross-examination in which protected witness AGR at one point told the court he was being insulted by Floyd and that he would therefore "exercise (his) right to keep quite".

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On request by the judges, AGR later agreed to respond to more questions from Floyd. Asked by Floyd whether he had met anyone from the Prosecutor’s office since he came to Arusha Friday last week, the witness responded : "Prosecutor’s office in Kigali or Arusha?" . Floyd then asked the witness, who has been in Arusha testifying since Monday, if he had gone back to Kigali during his short stay in Arusha. "Who knows?", the witness responded. Floyd then said the witness was deliberately refusing to respond to his questions. The lawyer requested that all his (witness) testimony be "struck from the record" and that AGR be sanctioned for "contempt of court"After a disagreement with the witness on whether his age was 46 or 47, Floyd asked him: " Is it your sworn testimony that even with the education that you have had, you are too stupid to recall your age?" AGR then retorted that Floyd was continually insulting him and asking him "useless" questions. The witness, a former journalist at the National Information Office of Rwanda (ORINFOR) added that he knew how to respond to "stubborn questions like those asked by Floyd". Witness AGR, named as such to protect his identity, told the court on Monday that he had seen Ngeze participate in an Interahamwe millitia demonstration. He said he had identified Ngeze wearing Interahamwe uniform and a hat as the demonstrators passed below the window of his flat. During cross-examination today, Floyd suggested to the witness that he (witness) could not have identified Ngeze’s face as Ngeze was wearing a hat and the witness had seen him from a flat. "Didn’t the hat he was wearing cover the curvature of the head?" Floyd asked the witness. " What else would it have covered, the butt ?" AGR responded. Floyd also told the court that AGR was a liar since he had contradicted himself over whether he had met prosecutor Simone Monasebian of the US (member of the prosecution team in this case). The witness denied several times that he had ever met Monasebian. But after defence cited statements indicating their meeting, he accepted that he had met her "in the presence of several other people. ". AGR is the seventh of the ninety-seven prosecution witnesses scheduled for this case. He has been testifying for four days. Hassan Ngeze is former editor of the newspaper Kangura. He is jointly accused with two others for allegedly having used the media to fuel the 1994 genocide. The other two are: Ferdinand Nahimana, co-founder and former director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, former director of political affairs at Rwanda’s foreign ministry and a board member of RTLM. The three are charged with several counts of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. They have all pleaded not guilty. 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/JC/FH (ME_0222e)