Arusha, June 28, 2001 (FH) - A witness who was due to appear in the so-called "Media Trial" has critical mental problems and will not be testifying, prosecutor William Egbe of Cameroon told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. Protected witness "PR" is the second prosecution witness in three days to be ruled out of testifying after arriving at the ICTR's seat of Arusha.

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Another prosecution witness, "AAW", refused to testify on Monday, apparently after "praying" andrealizing that part of what he had told investigators were "lies". "The witness has a critical lapse of memory as concerns very salient facts," Egbe told the court. "Since she arrived in Arusha, the witness has had to undergo medical examinations," he added. Egbe said the prosecution had concluded that her testimony "may not be of much value". Asked by presiding judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa whether the Prosecutor had any information that could reflect positively on any of the accused (exculpatory information), Egbe said that for now they did not, but that they were willing to produce it if they came across such information. The Media Trial groups three suspects accused of having used the media to fuel the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are: Ferdinand Nahimana, co-founder and former director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, former director of political affairs at Rwanda'sforeign ministry and a board member of RTLM, and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura. The three are charged with several counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. They have all pleaded not guilty. Also on Thursday, Nahimana's French defence counsel Jean Marie Biju-Duval said he had filed a motion claiming that the prosecution has contacted protected defence witnesses. The court is expected to hear that motion on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, prosecution witness "AEU" completed her testimony. She began testifying on Monday. AEU told the court that Ngeze had been a racist and chief of the extremist Hutu CDR party in the northern Rwandan region of Gisenyi. She said that Ngeze led many attacks on Tutsis carried out by the CDR. The case is before 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 (ME0628e)