Arusha, January 24,2003 (FH) - The case of three Rwandans accused of having used the medias for genocide ends has been suspended on Thursday up to next Monday following the late arrival of the defense witness as reported at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). A representative of the registry explained that despite all efforts deployed, witnesses awaited did not arrive in Arusha on time.

1 min 54Approximate reading time

The chamber accepted the explanations and suspended the deliberations until next Monday. The Tribunal is presently hearing the defense witness of the former director and chief editor of Kangusa magazine,Hassan Ngeze. Three witnesses have already testified. Hassan Ngeze is cooaccused with two presumed officials of Radio Télévision Libre des mille Collines (RTLM). Ferdinand Nahimana and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza. Ngeze is given the floor Upon new exchanges of opinions between the prosecution and the defense on the appearance of defense witnesses who were previously supposed to testify for the prosecution, Hassan Ngeze asked for the floor to the president of the chamber. Once again he alleged that his counsels don't contact him in view of the preparation of his defense and appealed to the Chamber to take action. “We have not prepared together the questions for the witnesses, Ngeze said, I know my witnesses. I was supposed to discuss with my counsels before the testimonies”. He further requested the chamber to allow him to pose five questions to each of his future witnesses in order to redress this communication problem with the defense. The counsel of Hassan Ngeze, the American John Floyd reacted in saying that his team was doing its utmost to protect the interests of his client. Ngeze often requested the replacement of his counsels alleging that they don't consult him. The chamber once accepted his request to be represented by his own counsels provided he paid himself but the accused was unable to do so. Ngeze declared: “I know that I will win this case. However in case of appeal by the prosecution I request that these advocates stop from defending me”. Mr Floyd responded that himself and his cocounsel the Canadian Mr. Martell had already decided to withdraw from the case after the trial chamber. Ngeze also requested the Tribunal to instruct the prosecution and the defense to meet some of the prosecution witnesses who testified before the popular jurisdictions in Rwanda, the gacacas, during which they declared that they had been paid to give false testimonies. Hassan Ngeze affirmed that among the witnesses who might be prepared to testify in his favour , there is the wife of late Modeste Tabaro. Ngeze is accused of assassinating Tabaro during the genocide. The Kenyan representative of the prosecution, Charity KagwiNdungu accused Hassan Ngeze of witness subornation. Ngeze reacted: “Why are you afraid of truth ? Let people speak. ”The media case is being heard before the Trial Chamber presided over by judge Navanthem Pillay from South Africa. The other judges are the Norwegian Erik Mose, and the SriLankan Asok Zoysa Gunawardana. AT/CE/FH (me0124e)