Arusha, February 12, 2001(FH) - Prosecution in the Media Trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said on Monday it was concerned about the safety of its protected witnesses, after media reports on the testimony of one of the witnesses, reports the independent news agency Hirondelle. The media trial groups former director of Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) Ferdinand Nahimana, former politician and RTLM board member Jean Bosco Barayagwiza and former editor of the "Kangura" newspaper Hassan Ngeze.

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The three are charged with several counts of genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecution said witness WD’s testimony had been “recounted verbatim” in the media, making it possible for his identity to be discovered. "Some of the testimony on certain locations and events could easily reveal the identity of the witness," prosecutor William Egbe of Cameroon told the court. Nahimana’s British co-counsel Diana Ellis argued, however, that the court had not heard any revealing testimony in open session. She also distanced her defence team from prosecution allegations that “a member of a certain defence team” had approached one of the future prosecution witnesses, ABH, at his workplace. Ngeze’s defence team made a similar stand and requested the prosecution to substantiate its claims. The prosecution also informed the court that its next witness, ABW, could not make it to Arusha to testify Monday due to “reasons beyond his control”. Egbe said the witness had given another possible date (February 19th) but had also expressed concern about his security. Prosecution said it would instead present witness AAM, who began testifying Monday. Protected witness AAM, a 42-year-old Tutsi man, is the sixth witness in the trial which began on October 23rd. Barayagwiza has been boycotting the trial since it started, on the grounds that the ICTR is manipulated by the “dictatorial, anti-Hutu regime in Kigali”. Ngeze has also been boycotting since the trial resumed last Monday. Appearing in court for the first time was new, court-appointed defence counsel for Barayagwiza, Giacomo Barletta Caldarera of Italy. Caldarera was appointed last week, after Barayagwiza’s former counsel Carmelle Marchessault of Canada and co-counsel David Danielson of the US withdrew from the case. They argued that they could not go against their client’s orders to boycott the courtroom. 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/FH (ME_0212e)