Arusha, May 10, 2003 (FH) - The defence in the media trial closed its case on Friday with both prosecution and defence counsel requesting to present outstanding matters before Trial Chamber One of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial which began in October 2000, groups together three people charged with using the media to incite and propagate the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

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Hassan Ngeze, former owner and editorinchief of an extremist publication, “Kangura”, Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, both founders of a “hate radio” launched in 1993, Radio television libre de mille collines (RTLM). All have pleaded not guilty to all charges levelled against them. Hassan Ngeze requested the tribunal to grant him three hours to challenge rebuttal witnesses that might be called by the prosecution. He also complained that he had asked the prosecution to call witness “AER”, a sister of an earlier prosecution witness, “AES” but that the request had been ignored. Also on the list of Ngeze's complaints was that he had wanted to call some of the former military personalities detained by the ICTR. He said that the only obstacle was that the potential witnesses feared the prosecution would use the information to strengthen its case against them. The defence on its part wanted to present a sworn statement of a certain JeanMarie Vianney Ndagijimana, but it was rejected by the chamber as being “irrelevant as it should have been produced in the course of the trial”. Before the chamber retired, it requested that all further motions should be made in written form and presented next week. It also ruled that, until further notice, it would stick to the scheduling order issued on March, 26, 2003. Both parties will prepare their closing arguments slated to begin in August this year. The prosecution will present its closing arguments August 18 and 19, 2003. The next three days will be reserved for the three defence teams. August 22 is the last day when Barayagwiza's defence team closes it arguments. The prosecution is also expected to give it response on the same day. All throughout the trial, Barayagwiza boycotted the proceedings alleging that the tribunal was manipulated by the Rwandan government. The chamber heard the last witness, Dr. Helmut Strizek on Thursday. Dr Strizek, an expert witness, was called in by Nahimana's defence team. Trial Chamber One of the ICTR is conducting the “media” hearings. The chamber is composed of Navenathem Pillay of South Africa (presiding) the Norwegian, Erik Mose and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana from Sri Lanka. KN/AT/CE/FH(ME'0510e)