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Arusha, March 20, 2007 (FH) – The Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) rejected allegations of fraud made by the prosecution against one of the lawyers of the musician Simon Bikindi, qualifying them as unfounded. “The Registrar initiated an inquiry into the facts behind the allegation. Having received the result of those inquiries, the Registrar is now satisfied that the allegations were not well-founded,” a communiqué published Tuesday by the ICTR press service, run by the Registry, indicated. On February 9, prosecutor William Egbe (Cameroon) accused Bikindi’s co-counsel, Mr. Jean de Dieu Momo (Cameroon) of having met and attempting to bribe a protected prosecution witness in a Rwandan prison. “The Registrar finds that there was a meeting between Mr. Momo and a person who was subsequently placed on the list of prosecution witnesses and later was the subject of a protection order. The Registrar has concluded that there is no clear evidence that Mr. Momo breached any ethical standards and that there is no credible evidence that Mr. Momo offered financial inducements to the person involved.” The communiqué added that, “The Registar concludes that Mr. Momo’s behaviour did not have any adverse effect upon the Prosecution witness and his testimony.” The witness in question had been heard by the Trial Chamber in the Bikindi trial in February. After his testimony, he met investigators designated by the Registrar. The latter also interrogated Mr. Momo and the principal counsel for Bikindi, Mr. Wilfred Nderitu, who took the prosecution’s side. This attitude of Mr. Nderitu irritated Bikindi, who demanded his withdrawal. Mr. Momo for his part spoke of a “plot” directed against him. The communiqué did not allude to the Nderitu case. Bikindi, in his cell, no longer receives the Kenyan lawyer. Bikindi has been in trial since September 2006. The prosecutor closed its case in February. Defense witnesses will appear starting in June. Bikindi, a famous composer of folk music, is accused of having incited genocide of the Tutsis through his songs. He has pleaded not-guilty. AT/PB/KD © Hirondelle News Agency