Arusha, March 12, 2002 (FH) - A team of investigators of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) made away with more than $10,000, belonging to genocide suspect Hassan Ngeze during his arrest in 1997, his defence told the court on Tuesday. Former prosecution investigator Kaiser Rizvi, now working for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), denied the allegations.

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He said that ICTR investigators had declared all property seized during the arrest. Rivzi was testifying on the chain of custody of hundreds of audio cassettes produced by the prosecution in the so-called 'media' trial. Rizvi was in charge of locating and keeping the cassettes at the time he worked for the ICTR. He also participated in the arrest of Hassan Ngeze in Nairobi, Kenya. The media trial 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". The three are charged with several counts of genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. "My client says he had in his house US $10,000, 5,000 French Francs, 5,000 Belgian Francs, an unspecified amount of Kenyan and Rwandan currency. Where did it go?", asked Ngeze's American lawyer John Floyd. Floyd said that despite having warmly received the team of ICTR investigators and Kenyan police on the day of the arrest, Ngeze had refused to sign an inventory of property seized from him because it did not include the money. Rizvi said that Ngeze had simply refused to sign the document without giving any reasons. He further said that ICTR investigators were merely observers to the arrest and that the arrest had been carried out by Kenyan police. "Foul play" in RTLM cassette testimonyDefence counsel for Ngeze said on Tuesday that several cassettes were inexplicably missing from a list of hundreds of cassettes tendered as evidence by ex-prosecution investigator Kaiser Rizvi. "At the very least, the prosecution is incompetent and at the very most, and this is what we think it is, there has been foul play and an intentional plan to keep the tapes from the court", said Floyd. Rizvi said that the missing tapes had been dropped from the list either because investigators had discovered that they were not Radio RTLM tapes or they were irrelevant to the case. The prosecution alleges that RTLM incited and fuelled the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The trial will continue on Wednesday with the testimony of prosecution investigator Aaron Musonda. He will be the 42nd prosecution witness. The trial is being heard by Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judges Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/JA/FH (ME-0312e)