Arusha, November 14, 2001 (FH) - Defence teams in the genocide trial of three former Rwandan media personalities on Wednesday objected to the calling of a Belgian journalist to testify in the case before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). "The prosecutor has not provided a proper witness statement for Colette Braeckmann's testimony," said Rene Martel of Canada, co-counsel for the accused Hassan Ngeze.

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"Letting her testify would prejudice our case. "The court rejected the request to disallow the witness, saying that an interview of the witness done by a Belgian judge was sufficient to notify the defence of the witness's testimony. Defence had also argued that Braeckmann's testimony was entirely based on hearsay and that calling her would be of little value and a waste of tribunal resources. "That will be up to the Chamber to determine when the witness comes to testify," said presiding Judge Navanethem Pillay said. Judge Pillay also said that the defence would have the opportunity to test the witness's reliability. The media trial groups three suspects linked to so-called "hate media" in Rwanda before and during the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. They are Ferdinand Nahimana, a founder of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM); Jean-Bosco-Barayagwiza, former politician and RTLM board member; and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of the newspaper Kangura. The case is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JC/DO/FH (ME0914e)