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Arusha, February 20, 2007 – The trial of the musician Simon Bikindi encountered a new twist Tuesday as the accused demanded in vain the suspension of his trial, alleging a violation of his rights.“I demand a postponement of the trial,” declared Bikindi before the Trial chamber III of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), recalling a conflict which pits him against his lead counsel, the Kenyan Mr. Wilfred Nderitu, since February 10.Bikindi asked the Registry, the service responsible for lawyers, to put an end to the mandate of Mr. Nderitu who no longer enjoys Bikindi’s confidence.This request came two days before the closing of the prosecution’s case in the trial that started September 18, 2006.The prosecutor, which has planned around 20 witnesses, on Tuesday was the next-to-last witness on his list.“We are aware of all this. It is up to the Registry to make a decision,” the President of the Chamber, the Argentinean judge Monica Ines Weiberg de Roca, dryly responded to a visibly irritated Bikindi.”We understand your concerns but we ask you to please be patient until the end of this week,” the Judge added.Unsatisfied with the Chamber’s position, Bikindi attempted to speak again, interrupted by, “That’s enough. We will not lose more time listening to you,” interjected Judge de Roca who switched from English to French.The Chamber then heard from “BHH,” a protected witness of the prosecution who produced a document entitled, “Analysis of the Bikindi songs and his Irindiro band.”The prosecutor alleges that artist’s songs regularly aired on the radio between April and July 1994 incited the Tutsis genocide which caused close to a million deaths, according to a count by the Rwandan government.Bikindi has pleaded not-guilty.His co-counsel, the Cameroonian Mr. Jean de Dieu Momo, attempted to block the testimony of the witness BHH, explaining that he added nothing new. His request was rejected.Mr. Momo was equally in a difficult situation, following allegations of witness tampering against him by the prosecution. The Registry has opened an investigation.Bikindi must call defence witnesses starting June. The Chamber is of the opinion that, in the interim, the problem of his representation will have been resolved.AT/KD© Hirondelle News Agency