Arusha, April 02, 2004 (FH) – Fire broke out on Friday morning at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) based in Arusha Tanzania, destroying documents used in the trials of people accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The fire which broke out at 6.

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58 am (3. 58 GMT) was quickly brought under control by the Arusha fire brigade who responded within ten minutes. UN and Tanzanian security officers were busy sifting through the charred-out remains as UN employees were gathered in groups outside looking in disbelief. There were no casualties. Remains of burnt-out files and audio cassettes lay scattered outside an entrance that leads to prisoners' holding cells and the evidence unit. The evidence unit is where all gathered evidence of the more than fifty detainees is kept. Among the partly destroyed evidence in view was a folder with the name “Barayagwiza” written on it and audio cassettes of the Radio Television Libre de Mille Collines (RTLM). Jean Bosco Barayagwiza is one of the three accused in the so-called “hate media” trial who were sentenced to life in prison December 3, 2003. “The fire started in the holding cells adjacent to the evidence unit and only office documents and minor equipment was destroyed”, reported Roland Amoussouga, spokesperson of the ICTR. “The evidence unit was not affected as it is fireproof”. Amoussouga explained that there was no evidence to point at sabotage saying the first indications were that the fire was caused by an electric short circuit. UN security together with Tanzanian officials were investigating. KN/CE/FH(ICTR''0402e)