Arusha, May 7, 2001 (FH) The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday rejected former Rwandan prefect and genocide suspect Emmanuel Bagambiki's request to conduct his own defence because he did not have confidence in his co-counsel, Luc Boutin of Canada. The defendant's Belgian lead counsel Vincent Lurquin is currently absent owing to illness.

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However, Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR, composed of Judges Lloyd Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia, ruled that Bagambiki would be allowed to ask supplementary questions during cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, if Lurquin had not returned. "We will make an exception in this case," said Judge Williams. Bagambiki is being jointly tried with two other suspects accused of genocide in the Cyangugu region of southwest Rwanda. They are former commander of Cyangugu military barracks Samuel Imanishimwe and former Transport Minister André Ntagerura. Bagambiki said he was "very ready" to cross-examine prosecution witness "AQ" who had testified earlier, as he did not want Boutin to do it. However, the court adjourned the cross-examination to Monday, to allow thedefence teams time to prepare. Court is suspended Tuesday to allow ICTR staff to attend a memorial ceremony for Judge Laity Kama who died on Sunday. A new witness dubbed "LAC" is expected to start testifying when the court resumes on Wednesday. For some time, Bagambiki has been protesting that he does not want Boutin on his defence team or in court. He says the two have not met since February. Lead counsel Lurquin has nevertheless expressed confidence in Boutin. The Chamber noted that Boutin was still the assigned co-counsel for the accused who has claimed indigence, and that the proceedings must continue. "The Chamber cannot allow the accused to determine when, where and how the case is proceeding," said Judge Williams. SW/JC/FH (CY0507e)