Arusha, September 18, 2001 (FH) The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday granted the prosecution in the so-called Cyangugu trial leave to call an expert witness whose appearance will interrupt the on-going testimony of a detained witness. Amidst objections by the defence, the chamber allowed the prosecution to present on Wednesday a university don, Andre Guichaoua, and postpone the testimony of the current prosecution witness LAI to next week.

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LAI, a self-confessed Interahamwe militiaman, is in detention in Rwanda for participating in the 1994 genocide. He started his testimony on Monday. The Cyangugu trial groups former Transport Minister André Ntagerura, former Cyangugu military commander Samuel Imanishimwe, and former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki. The witness was responding to cross-questioning from Ntagerura's defence when prosecution made its appeal. Ugandan prosecutor Richard Karegyesa requested that Guichaoua a professor at the University of Science and Technology in Lille, France, testify at this point because he would not be available later. All defence teams objected saying that the interruption would disturb their cross-questioning work. Imanishimwe's Cameroonian defence counsel Marie Louise-Mbida asked the court to let Guichaoua testify in November together with other expert witnesses, instead of interrupting the current witness. However, the chamber ruled that LAI should wait and Guichauoua testify from Wednesday. The court said it would exceptionally sit on Friday to accommodate the situation and ensure that Guichauoua completes his testimony by next Monday. LAI is expected to continue on Tuesday. In his testimony, LAI told the chamber of meetings where leaders including Ntagerura allegedly plotted the killing of Tutsis. In response to Ntagerura's lead defence counsel Benoit Henry of Canada, LAI said he witnessed Ntagerura give orders on the telephone to a militia leader called Yusuf Munyakazi. Henry maintained that LAI was "creating the events". He said that in his written statements to investigators, LAI mentioned a "fax message" and not a telephone conversation as he told the court. The hearing is before Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR, composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/PHD/FH (CY0918E)