Arusha, May 22, 2001 (FH) A prosecutor in the so-called Media Trial on Tuesday complained of "highly unfair" treatment over non-disclosure of an audiotape referred to in defence cross-examination before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). "We don't have a copy of this thing," protested Kenyan prosecutor Charity Kagwe, and asked that it be handed over in the interests of "equality of arms".

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British lawyer Diana Ellis, representing genocide suspect Ferdinand Nahimana, said that the ICTR Rules did not require disclosure in this case (the tape was not submitted as evidence) and that she would like to argue the point further. However, presiding judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa found that the prosecutor's complaint was "perfectly justified". She warned the defence that it should henceforth disclose all documents and items used in cross-examination, and said the Registry should try to get another copy of the tape for the prosecution. The issue arose during the testimony of Rwandan journalist Thomas Kamilindi, the 21st prosecution witness in the trial of three suspects accused of using the media to fuel the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are former RTLM radio director Nahimana, former politician and RTLM board member Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and former "Kangura" newspaper editor Hassan Ngeze. Kamilindi was a journalist at the Rwandan Office of Information (ORINFOR) and worked there when Nahimana was director from December 1990 to April 1992. He testified mostly against Nahimana. Ellis referred in her cross-questioning to an interview that the witness conducted in 1999 with former RTLM presenter Valérie Bemeriki, just after Bemeriki was detained in Rwanda for inciting genocide. She asked the witness if he remembered Bemeriki saying that her boss at RTLM had been Phocas Habimana and that he (Kamilindi) had said that neither Nahimana nor Barayagwiza had had an official function within the radio. The witness said he did not remember. "Those were words repeated by yourself on the programme," Ellis asserted. "You say you can't remember any of those facts in that interview that you participated in only two years ago. " She also got the witness to admit that the interview was "an unusual event" in his journalistic life, implying that he should thus be able to remember it. However, he protested that in his long career as a radio journalist he could not possibly remember "everything I did day after day, year after year". Ellis then suggested that out of fairness to the witness, he should be given an opportunity to listen to the tape of the interview and make comments on it if he wished. The court accepted the suggestion but said Ellis would not be allowed any further cross-questioning. It also rejected a request from the accused Ngeze to cross-question the witness himself. Kamilindi's testimony continues on Wednesday. JC/MBR/FH (ME0522f)