Arusha, November 19, 2001 (FH) - Prosecutors in the trial of threegenocide suspects from Cyangugu, southwest Rwanda, on Monday submitted anurgent motion to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR),seeking to withdraw the last two scheduled prosecution witnesses. Prosecution said it wanted to withdraw two expert witnesses, Dr GastonLubambo and François-Xavier Nsanzuwera.

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So far, 41 prosecution witnesseshave testified. Prosecutor Richard Karegyesa of Uganda said it would be "unnecessary" tocall the two experts, as evidence from previous witnesses had made theirtestimony redundant. He told the court it would save judicial time if theywere left out. Karegyesa suggested that the defence could call the expertsas defence witnesses if they so wished. The Cyangugu trial groups former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki,former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and former Cyangugu militarybarracks commander Samuel Imanishimwe. All have pleaded not guilty tocharges of genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged roles inmassacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide. Defence teams for the three accused told the court they were not opposed tothe prosecution dropping Dr Lubambo, and said they also wanted withdrawn amedical report he had submitted to the court. However, Bagambiki's Belgian lawyer Vincent Lurquin objected to thewithdrawal of the expert witness Nsanzuwera. Lurquin said there were issueshe had not elaborated as he had intended to put them to the expert witnessNsanzuwera. "I want to share with the court the discomfort and concern ofthe defence in the face of this motion," said Lurquin. He urged the court not to accede to the Prosecutor's request because hesaid it would prejudice his client. The Cyangugu case was adjourned on September 26th to make room for anothercase before the same Trial Chamber. It is due to resume on November 22nd. This case is before Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR, composed of judgesLloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovskyof Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/DO/FH (CY1119e)