Arusha, December 6, 2001 (FH) - The genocide trial of three accused linked to "hate media" was on Thursday adjourned before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) after the testimony of the 36th prosecution witness. It is to resume on February 18th, after the judicial break and hearings of another case.

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At one point on Thursday, witness Agnès Murebwayire stormed out of the courtroom, considering that she had been insulted. Defence had suggested she was lying. However, presiding judge Erik Mose asked the ICTR's witnessprotection unit to reassure her, and she came back to finish her testimony. This case groups three people linked to media which incited Hutus against Tutsis during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They are Ferdinand Nahimana, a founder and alleged former director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and RTLM board member; and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of newspaper "Kangura". Murebwayire testified mainly against Nahimana. Nahimana's British co-counsel Diana Ellis suggested that the witness was not telling the truth. Ngeze's co-counsel René Martel complained that the witness was "insolent". "She is insulting the lawyers, she is in contempt of the Tribunal," he said. Prosecution maintained, however, that the defence should be sanctioned for its behaviour towards the witness. In her testimony in chief, Murebwayire referred to Nahimana as "a wolf in sheep's clothing". The witness, a young Tutsi woman, worked for state-owned Radio Rwanda for 18 years before she was dismissed. She told the court thatNahimana had her dismissed in January 1991. Prosecution maintains that Nahimana discriminated against Tutsis at ORINFOR (Rwanda Information Office), of which Radio Rwanda is a part. He was head of ORINFOR from late 1990 to 1992. The witness also claimed in her testimony that Nahimana attempted to have her assassinated. The defence raised many objections during Murebwayire's testimony. This case is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa, Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. However, only judges Mose and Gunawardana have been hearing proceedings this week, as Judge Pillay is away on official duties. The court is also hearing the case of former Seventh Day Adeventist pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son Gerald, a medical doctor. That case is due to resume on January 14th. SW/JC/DO/FH (ME1206f)