Arusha, February, 15, 2001(FH) - The new court-appointed lawyer for genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza on Thursday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that prosecution witness ’AAM’ was giving his testimony under pressure from the government in Kigali. Giacomo Caldarera of Italy had begun his cross-questioning of the witness by apologising that it would be limited, because his client had refused to meet him.

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Barayagwiza has been boycotting the trial since it began on October 23rd and ordered his lawyers to do the same. He claims that the trial will not be fair because the ICTR is manipulated by the “dictatorial anti-Hutu regime in Kigali”. "The series of your responses to my learned friends and I is a result of fear of your government or interest to please them," Caldarera told the witness. Witness AAM denied this, saying he was testifying to the truth because he wanted to see justice done. The 75-year-old law professor focused his cross-examination on the current political situation in Rwanda, "to show that Rwanda is going through hard times". He said, for example, that many Rwandans were in exile because they feared for their lives, that Tutsi royalists were demanding a new government, a former interior minister had been assassinated in Nairobi and that young boys were being sent to the battlefield in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such circumstances, Caldarera said, made it difficult to get objective testimony from the witness. Protected witness AAM denied knowledge of all this, saying he felt safe living in Rwanda and was not aware of any insecurity for anybody there. On Monday, AAM told the court that Barayagwiza had participated in many meetings of the CDR party, including a rally where he warned Tutsis not to complain that they were being persecuted. Barayagwiza, according to AAM, told the Tutsis that "any complaint would lead to your extermination and I should remind you that we have the capacity to do it". Barayagwiza was director of political affairs at the foreign ministry of the former Rwandan government, founder of the pro-Hutu CDR party and a board member of radio station RTLM. He is being tried with two other suspects linked to media which allegedly incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are former RTLM director Ferdinand Nahimana and former editor of Kangura newspaper Hassan Ngeze. The case is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JC/PHD/FH(ME_0215f)