Arusha, December 1, 2003 (FH) - The prosecution team of the Government Itrial involving four former senior government officials on Monday told theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that prosecution witnessespresent in Arusha felt intimidated by the “unplanned” visit of defensecounsel Peter Robinson from the USA. The four co-accused are the president of the former ruling party, the MRND,Matthieu Ngirumpatse, his vice president Edouard Karemera, the Secretarygeneral, Joseph Nzirorera, as well as the former minister of primary andsecondary education, André Rwamakuba.

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The prosecutor said the witnesses complained, “How can we be safe in thesafe house if anyone can come in without advance notice”. He also said otherwitnesses may not feel secure to come and testify because these witnesseswere intimidated. The court was informed that the defense counsel Mr. Robinson had gone to thesafe house with a legal assistant who hails from the same region as thewitnesses, a situation which threatened the revelation of their identity. Mr. Robinson defended himself by saying that he followed the procedures andwas surprised that the prosecution team reacted in this manner as it wastheir (the prosecution) team from Witness and Victim Support Section whichtook them to the safe house. “I was extremely polite to them, I never threatened them, I told them it wastheir choice to speak to me and they said they were willing on conditionsomebody from the prosecution team was there with us,” he said. He laterapologized for causing bad feelings and the chamber ruled that no party hadthe right to contact the others witnesses without the concerned partyknowing. Earlier, the second prosecution witness, an ICTR investigator, completed histestimony. The investigator Mr. Antonias Maria Lucassen from TheNetherlands, continued to present pictures, distances between major towns,sketches and maps. He was cross-examined by counsel Robinson regarding mainly why he tookpictures and images of certain areas leaving others. “Was it not importantto take photos of Gisenyi? Why then did the office of the prosecutor notwant photos of Gisenyi taken?” Robinson asked. The witness said he was following orders from the prosecution which requiredhim to take pictures of certain areas and not of everything. The trial continues tomorrow with the hearing of prosecution witnesses whofailed to appear in court today due to illness and fear. The four former leaders are each charged with seven counts of genocide,conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commitgenocide, and crimes against humanity (rape and extermination). The trial is in trial Chamber Three of the ICTR which is composed of JudgeAndrésia Vaz (presiding), assisted by two ad litem (not permanent) judges,FlaviaLattanzi from Italy and Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon. SV/CE/FH (GovI1201e)