Arusha, April 6, 2004 (FH) - Former MRND secretary-general and genocide suspect Joseph Nzirorera on Tuesday asked the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to request the government of France to provide it with the report of the inquiry into the crash of President Habyarimana's plane. Nzirorera's lead counsel Peter Robinson of USA presented an oral motion asking the trial chamber to help Nzirorera get the report of the inquiry which was conducted by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere.

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Nzirorera is co-accused with the former president of MRND, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, his vice president Edouard Karemera, and Andre Rwamakuba, former minister of primary and secondary education. Robinson said that the report is significant to Nzirorera's case as he intends to lead evidence on the issue. “It is highly relevant to know who is responsible for the death of Habyarimana” Robinson stated. Robinson's request was supported by Ngirumpatse's lead counsel Charles Roach (UK). The French inquiry into the crash was opened in 1998 following an application by one of the pilots' families for investigations into what was termed as “assassination related to a terrorist act”. The inquiry was assigned to Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere. Although the report by the French judge has not been made public yet, French daily Le Monde published large excerpts from it. It implicates Rwanda's current president, Paul Kagame for the deadly shooting down on April 6, 1994 of the plane carrying the former president. At the time of the attack, Kagame was the commander of the rebel Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) now in power in Kigali. The Trial Chamber however ruled that Robinson must file a written request explaining the grounds of his motion before a decision is rendered. The chamber sat for only an hour as the defence team spent the better part of the morning listening to compact discs containing speeches of various Rwandan leaders. The trial continues on Wednesday with the cross-examination of witness GFA. Government One trial is taking place in Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR composed of Judge Andresia Vaz from Senegal, (presiding) and ad litem judges Flavia Lattanzi from Italy and Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon. PJ/CE/FH (GVI''0406e)