Arusha, July 3, 2002 (FH) - The defence in the trial of former Rwandan Minister Andre Ntagerura, one of three people accused of genocide crimes in Cyangugu, southwest Rwanda, on Wednesday filed a motion to have a witness testimony heard via video conference. Ntagerura's lead counsel Canadian, Benoit Henry asked the court to allow that the witness, known only as "K1H" for protection of identity, and who is unable to come to Arusha be heard by the Chamber through video conference.

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Henry said that this witness was very important to important to the defence and that a number of others had been dropped in favour of K1H when the court asked defence to limit its list of witnesses. "This witness will come and add concrete evidence regarding the movements of Andre Ntagerura in 1994," Henry said. Ntagerura is in a joint trial with former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and former commander of the Karambo military barracks in Cyangugu, SamuelImanishimwe. Prosecution maintains that all three are guilty of massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide. They have pleaded not guilty. If the defence motion is granted, this will be the second time that a witness will be heard in this fashion, the first was during the case referred to as 'the media trial'. Ntagerura's counsel proposed an alternative to the video conference method, should technical problems arise. He urged the court to consider having the witness's testimony taken by a presiding officer and the transcripts submitted to the Chamber. In response to the defence motion, the prosecution said some witnesses had already presented the facts that would be submitted by K1H gauging from thewitness's statement. Prosecutor Richard Karegyesa of Uganda also said that the accused would also testify and was better placed to give evidence. However, he added that should the Chamber allow K1H to testify, that the Registry be referred to for advice on the most cost-effective means of hearing this testimony. The prosecution also submitted a motion that three of the four experts proposed by the defence are excluded from testifying and that the expert reports are suppressed "as irrelevant and inadmissible". The defence list of experts includes Wayne Madsen of USA, Uwe Friesecke of Germany, Lucien Hounkpatin of France and Benin and Rwandan Antoine Nyetera. The prosecution maintain that only Hounkpatin should testify and that the evidence by the other three would not have any additional value to the case. Nyetera has testified in another case before the same Chamber, that of former Bicumbi Mayor, Laurent Semanza. He had been proposed as an expert witness but ended testifying as a factual one. The Chamber is deliberating on the motions and proceedings will resume on Thursday morning. The trial is 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/DO/FH (CY-0703e)