Arusha, January 29, 2004 (FH) - The president of the International CriminalTribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Erik Mose of Norway, on Thursday todayexpressed anger at the defence lawyer's strike. Judge Mose was addressing Trial chamber I in which he is the presiding judgein the ‘Military I' trial involving four senior former military officials.

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“The method chosen by the defence is unacceptable and does not serve theirinterest. The chamber resolves that appropriate channels should be followedand not by delaying the trials,” he said. “We do not see any lead counsels and there are also no accused. But we shallproceed,” he added. Both the accused and the defence counsels in this trial boycottedProceedings for the second day. On her part, the prosecuting counsel Barbara Mulvaney of the USA called uponthe court to initiate a contempt of court on the part of the defence. “Thetactics they have used are beyond what any of us can do to help, a contemptof court should be initiated. We the prosecution are ready to proceed withthe direct examination of Major Brent Beardsley,” the 38th prosecutionwitness in this case. At the time of the genocide in 1994, Major Beardsley assisted the formerUnited Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) commander, GeneralRomeo Dallaire. “The defence have rights and counsels have a duty, they should be dealt withdifferently,” adding that “counsels have violated rules. we have a witnessand it is our position (prosecution) that we should continue with thetrial. ”Ms Mulvaney said the prosecution estimated that Major Beardsley will testifyfor at least two days. Shortly afterwards, Presiding Judge Mose declared theproceedings adjourned for unlimited time. The court resumed again after 45 minutes. Judge Mose said, “The prosecutionhas called upon the trial chamber to continue with the trial. The trialchamber has resolved that the defense cannot delay the proceedingsindefinitely. ”He insisted that Major Beardsley was an important witness whose testimonywas closely linked with testimony of general Dallaire and concluded that,“the chamber will be obliged to proceed if this situation (the strike)continues”. The trial was adjourned to Friday the 30th of January. The defense counsels have gone on strike since Wednesday over what they termas “the deterioration of their working conditions including repeated lack ofrespect of the rights of the accused and a show of disrespect to thelawyers”. The president has met with lawyers' representatives but was unable toconvince them to put off the strike. SV/CE/FH (ML'0129e)