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Arusha, December 2nd 2006 (FH) – The registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) tried to explain himself Thursday following the fuss over the press conference held recently by one of the persons in charge of the registry. A week ago, the deputy registrar and ICTR spokesman, Evrard O’Donnell (Great Britain) severely criticized the Defense Attorneys’ Association of the ICTR (ADAD) and obviously sided with the prosecutor in an ongoing trial. The ADAD had supported the results of the investigation of the French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière concerning the attack in which the Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana perished, and had indicated that his report confirmed the evidences presented by the defense in « Militaries I », the trial of four high-ranked officers of the old Rwandan Army. The French judge has reported that the sitting president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, was the one who had ordered the attack against his predecessor on April 6 1994 and has recommended that he should be prosecuted by the ICTR. O’Donnell had stated that the defense attorneys had overstepped their mandate and also, had brought out the arguments the prosecutor had presented in « Militaries I » in presence of the approving Rwandan delegate at the ICTR. Shortly afterwards, the latter had released a communique summing up the speech of O'Donnell. Raphaël Constant (France), who represents the main accused in Militaries I, Col. Théoneste Bagosora, openly complained about such a « biased » behavior from a person in charge of the Registry. He accused O’Donnell of knowingly spreading elements that are « false or nothing short of lies ». Mr. Constant later demanded that the Registrar published an official refutation. In the absence of the chief registrar, Adama Dieng (Senegal), Mr. Constant obtained instead a communiqué posted Thursday on the ICTR website. Far from an apology, the communiqué is rather a softer version of O’Donnell’s speech. However, the Registrar regrets that the Tribunal’s spokesperson may have offended one of the parties. Friday morning, Mr. Constant published a statement saying that he disapproves of such a « method of communication » and emphasizes « strongly that a fair justice can exist only if the judicial administration fulfills its role of neutrality, a principle in jeopardy today ». AT/PB/MG Hirondelle News Agency