Arusha, July 9, 2002 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday allowed an expert witness, ethno-psychiatrist, Lucien Hounkpatin, to testify for ex-minister Andre Ntagerura, one of three people accused of genocide crimes in Cyangugu (southwest Rwanda). Ntagerura, a former minister for Transport and Communications, is in a joint trial with ex-commander of the Karambo military barracks in Cyangugu Samuel Imanishimwe and former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki.

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Prosecution maintains that all three are guilty of massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide. They have pleaded not guilty. Ntagerura's defence had listed Lucien Hounkpatin of France and Benin and three others, Rwandan, Antoine Nyetera, Wayne Madsen of USA and Uwe Friesecke of Germany, as expert witnesses. However, the court allowed Nyetera to testify as factual witnesses and rejected Friesecke's and Madsen's reports. On Monday, the court adjourned the proceedings to Thursday to allow for Nyetera to travel to Arusha. Prior to the adjournment, the parties presented arguments on the expert report of Hounkpatin, with the prosecution calling for its rejection. Prosecutor Richard Karegyesa of Uganda stated that the report was passing moral judgment rather than being an analysis of facts. Ntagerura's co-counsel Hamuli Rety of France and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) argued that the report was important and that the prosecution should let the Chamber decide on whether or not the expert ought to testify. Tuesday's decision to allow Hounkpatin's means he is to give evidence after Nyetera's testimony. Ntagerura's defence had earlier asked the Chamber to allow one other witness known as “K1H” for protection of identity, to testify out of court. The defence suggested that this witness's testimony be heard either through videoconference or being recorded by a presiding officer of the Tribunal and the transcript forwarded to the Chamber. The Chamber stated that videoconference would not be possible but a decision on the second option has yet to be delivered. Ntagerura is expected to testify after the remaining witnesses. The trial resumes on Thursday before ICTR's Trial Chamber Three, composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JA/FH (CY-0709e)