Arusha, February 13, 2001(FH) The new, court-appointed counsel for genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza hopes to meet his client for the first time on Wednesday, the lawyer told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. Italian lawyer Giacomo Caldarera was assigned one week ago to represent Barayagwiza, who has been boycotting his trial since it started on October 23rd, and ordered his lawyers to do the same.

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The accused claims that his trial cannot be fair because the ICTR is manipulated by the “dictatorial, anti-Hutu regime in Kigali”. Barayagwiza was director of political affairs in the foreign ministry of the former Rwandan government, founder of the pro-Hutu CDR party and a founder member of the RTLM radio station which allegedly incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. He is on trial with two other accused linked to former media in Rwanda that allegedly incited genocide. They are former RTLM director Ferdinand Nahimana and former editor of Kangura newspaper Hassan Ngeze. Barayagwiza’s former lawyers, Carmelle Marchessault of Canada and David Danielson of the US, were finally authorized to withdraw from the case last week. They had argued that they could not go against their client’s orders to boycott the court. As it accepted their withdrawal, the court also ordered the ICTR Registry to appoint another lawyer “immediately” in the interests of justice. Caldarera was appointed the following day and has been in court since Monday this week. Barayagwiza has made it clear he considers the appointment of his new lawyer illegal and that he does not intend to cooperate with him. In a “press release” dated February 13th, the accused says: “Mr Caldarera has the role of not resisting the villainous laws of the justice of the Victor, but rather, of making them triumph. Didn’t he declare himself, on his first day of audience, that he is there for justice? But which justice can defend a counsel who accepts to be opposed to the wishes of his client whose rights he was called to protect as the Court will direct? How this counsel intends to defend justice while ignoring the defendant’s case? […] Mr. Caldarera does have obviously only one mission entrusted to him by the judges of this Tribunal: to mask the parody of justice and to justify the planned conviction of Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza. ”Barayagwiza insinuates that Caldarera is a Sicilian Mafioso, appointed in dubious circumstances by the head of the ICTR lawyers’ section who is also Italian. The accused says that he is still unaware of the exact contents of the decisions by either the Chamber or the Registry regarding the appointment of his new lawyer, and that he has not been sent details despite two letters of request. Barayagwiza says that: “The little that I know of what is behind this case indicates that the Chamber did not specify at all in which quality the new Counsel must intervene in the case. Is he a normal Counsel, a duty Counsel or a Counsel assigned ‘in the interest of justice’? […] It is rather the Registrar who, exceeding the powers that the Statute and the Rules of the Tribunal confer to him, has assigned Mr. Caldarera as Counsel representing Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza ‘in the interest of justice’!”Barayagwiza is not the only accused in the Media Trial to be conducting a court boycott. He has been joined since Monday last week by Ngeze who has filed a motion to have all charges against him dropped on grounds that his rights have been grossly violated. In particular, Ngeze alleges that UN security staff stole or destroyed vital defence documents during a search of his prison cell on January 10th. The raid was prompted by information that Ngeze was running an Internet website carrying illegal photographs and defamatory material. Ngeze’s lawyer John Floyd has asked for an evidentiary hearing into search, but the Court has not yet taken a decision. In the meantime, Ngeze has written to new US President George Bush about the alleged violation of his rights. Among other things, Ngeze writes that: “Before ending this letter, I would like to urge your Excellency to order the Tribunal to be fair towards me and solve my problems. My life is in danger, yet some tribunal officials seem not to care. […] I am convinced that your action can save me from being a victim of the exercise of the freedom of speech. ” It remains to be seen whether Ngeze’s letter will reach the President of the United States, and whether he will get a response. JC/AT/FH (ME_0213f)