Arusha, June 20, 2001 (FH) - Defence for former Rwandan minister PaulineNyiramasuhuko told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) onWednesday that lawyers for co-accused Sylvain Nsabimana "had documents fortheir defence which implicate Pauline Nyiramasuhuko". Nyiramasuhuko's lead counsel Nicole Bergevin of Canada argued that, havingbeen refused a separate trial, she should at least be allowed to conductcross-questioning of witnesses after Nsabimana's defence.

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Bergevin wascontesting the court's decision that her team be the first of six defenceteams to conduct cross-questioning. She argued that it could prejudice herclient. Bergevin made the appeal on Wednesday, prior to cross-examination of thefirst prosecution witness, UN investigator Shukri Gandhi. Gandhi began histestimony on June 12th. He has presented maps, videos and sketches ofalleged massacre sites. However, the court rejected Bergevin's request, saying the order ofcross-examination had already been decided (on Tuesday evening) for allprosecution witnesses scheduled up to June 28th. Nsabimana's co-counselCharles Tchakounte Patie had earlier suggested that the order could beestablished after the testimony of each witness. Nyiramasuhuko, a former Minister for Family and Women's Affairs, isco-accused with five others including her son Arsène Shalom Ntahobali. Theothers are former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and AlphonseNteziryayo, and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi and Muganza, ElieNdayambaje. All six are accused of genocide and crimes against humanity inthe southern Rwandan region of Butare during the 1994 genocide. Nyiramasuhuko's co-counsel Guy Poupart cross-examined Gandhi most ofWednesday, followed by Ntahobali's lead counsel René Saint-Leger(Haiti-Canada). The Chamber said that Ntahobali would be allowed to asksupplementary questions but not to cross-examine the witness. Ntahobali hasfiled a motion asking the ICTR to dismiss his lawyers, assign him new onesand let him represent himself in the meantime. The case is before Trial Chamber Two, composed of Judges William HusseinSekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and WinstonChurchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. SW/JC/FH (BT0620e)