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Arusha, January 29 2007 (FH) – Mr. Raphaël Constant, who represents Col. Théoneste Bagosora, accused of being the « brain » of the genocide, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) says he is « optimistic » about the outcome of the trial, granted the chamber in charge of the case which closed the hearings last week to start deliberating, sticks to the legal arguments. The director of cabinet in the Ministry of Defense during the genocide of 1994, Bagosora is tried alongside three other officers for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. « I have confidence if the judges take only legal elements into consideration, but there are extrajudicial parameters, I can’t tell what will happen », the French attorney has declared this Thursday in an interview to Hirondelle Agency. The chamber seized of the case is presided by Judge Erik Mose (Norway) assisted by Serguei Egorov (Russia) and Jai Ram Reddy (Fidji Islands). The arguments of the parties will be heard in May and the judgment is expected before the end of the year. Mr. Constant has nevertheless stated that, outside the court, the balance of power is tipping exceedingly in favor of the prosecution. « The fair trial has been limited to the number of square meters in the courtroom. Outside, notably when it came to have access to information, the prosecution had a much smoother way than the defense teams ». The attorneys have complained throughout the procedure that they did not have access to certain documents the Rwandan government is said to have. Besides Bagosora, the other accused are the former chief of military operations at the General Staff, brigadier general Gratien Kabiligi, the ex-commander of the military operations in the sector of Gisenyi (north), lieutenant–colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, and the former commander of the paracommando unit, Major Aloys Ntabakuze. While the attorneys had been following a line of defense since the beginning in April 2005 of the hearing of their witnesses, a conflict of interest aroused last year when the defense team of Bagosora called to the bar the ex-Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, condemned to life imprisonment. The attorneys of Kabiligi and Ntabakuze objected to the hearing of Kambanda, explaining that, in the past, the latter had made statements likely to be detrimental to their clients. The judges rejected their request and the former Prime Minister was heard, though, in accordance with a ruling of the chamber, he was particularly cautious to not incriminate the two accused. Mr. Constant says he was surprised by the attitude of the two defense teams, all the more so that, according to him, they had been aware since the end of 2004 that Kambanda was on the list of witnesses for Bagosora. He acknowledges that it led to « a break between the defense teams but not between the accused » who, he says, « apparently » still have « normal relationships ». This trial called « Militaries I » opened in April 2004. The prosecutor close his case on October 14 of the same year after having presented 82 witnesses. The presentation of the defense took place between April 11 2005 and January 18 2007; a total number of 160 witnesses have been heard in the defense of the four accused. ER/PB/MG © Hirondelle News Agency