Arusha, February 7, 2001(FH) The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has assigned a new lawyer to genocide suspect Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, who has been boycotting his trial and ordered his lawyers to do the same. The new lawyer is Giacomo Barletta Caldarera of Italy.

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Caldarera already has experience of the ICTR, serving briefly as defence counsel for another Tribunal genocide suspect. Caldarera was assigned Tuesday, immediately after a court decision allowing Barayagwiza’s previous defence team to withdraw from the case after their client terminated their mandate. The lawyers, Carmelle Marchessault of Canada and David Danielson of the US, had earlier told the court they would be breaking the rules of their Bar Associations if they went against their client’s instructions and represented him in court. The court ordered the ICTR Registry to assign Barayagwiza another lawyer immediately in the interests of justice and of ensuring a fair trial. Baraygwiza has been boycotting the trial since it started on October 23rd, saying that the ICTR is manipulated by the “dictatorial anti-Hutu regime in Kigali” and that the trial is a “mockery of justice”. In a “press release” on Monday, Baraygwiza said that: “No other Counsel is entitled to represent me at this parody of justice under any pretext. I thus denounce the idea of assigning the so-called Counsel ‘in the interests of justice’ since there is no justice in this Tribunal. ”An ICTR source said one of the criteria for assigning Caldarera was that he has long experience of criminal law systems, including working briefly as lawyer for former Rwandan mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu. Akayesu’s case is now before the ICTR Appeals Chamber, after the Trial Chambersentenced him to life imprisonment for genocide. In November 1999, the ICTR Appeals Court ordered Barayagwiza’s release on the grounds that his rights were continually violated during initial detention and transfer to Arusha, but the Court reversed its decision after the Rwandan government suspended its cooperation with the Tribunal and the Prosecutor presented “new facts”. Barayagwiza’s ex-defence team say they conducted investigations in Cameroon, where the accused was initially detained, and that the Prosecutor’s “new facts” were based on false documents. Barayagwiza was director of political affairs in the foreign ministry of the former Rwandan government, founder of the hardline pro-Hutu CDR party and a founder member of Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM) which allegedly incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. He is being tried with two other suspects linked to so-called hate media in Rwanda: Ferdinand Nahimana, ex-director of RTLM, and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura. JC/FH (ME_0207f)