Arusha, February 28, 2003 (FH) - An expert witness called by the defence of the former commander of Karambo military camp in Cyangugu, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe, one of the three accused in the Cyangugu trial, has had his name removed from the list of potential witnesses in the case. Marie Louise Mbida, the defence counsel for Imanishimwe, filed an application with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday, to remove the name of a Cameroonian military officer from the list of witnesses.

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Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR composed of Judges Llyod George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia granted the application. The tribunal was told that the officer in question had on numerous times since January, failed to turn up. The reason given is that he had not received authorisation from his government to travel to Arusha. Defence counsel told the court that given the negative outcome of all endeavours by the tribunal's registry to convince the government of Cameroon to cooperate, it seemed highly unlikely that the witness will ever appear before the court. Lt. Samuel Imanishimwe, is jointly tried with two other former government officials; former Minister of Transport and Communications, André Ntagerura, and the former prefect of Cyangugu prefecture, Emmanuel Bagambiki. All three have pleaded not guilty to charges that they orchestrated the massacres of Tutsis in Cyangugu during the 1994 genocide. The court has adjourned until March 10, 2003 when it will hear the next witness in defence of Bagambiki. So far, 15 witnesses have appeared in defence of the former prefect. KN/CE/FH(CY'0228e)