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Arusha, March 29, 2008 (FH) - The Chamber trying Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother-in-law of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, refused Thursday the status of expert for a defense witness, leading the defense to call him as an ordinary witness.    It is the second time in one week that lawyers for Zigiranyirazo, accused of genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)  have suffered such a refusal.   Emmanuel Neretse, a former major in the Rwandan army, should testify on numerous subjects going to the relations between civil and military authorities in the death squads in the army, also going over parallel networks in the power structure.   Zigiranyirazo, in spite of being outside official government circles since 1989, is suspected of having exercised important powers in 1994 through the akazu, a circle consisting of relatives of the former president.  He has refuted these allegations.    The Chamber estimated that despite Neretse’s long experience in the army, « neither his report, nor his outline, nor his publications » could help him to « understand the context of the pertitent events of the trial. »   The judges also pointed out that Neretse was a batallion commandant between April and July 1994, « which raises problems regarding his impartiality. »   Zigiranyirazo’s lawyer, Mr. John Philpot, decided to call Neretse as an ordinary witness.  The officier should specifically demonstrate that Zigiranyirazo could not give orders to the military.   At the beginning of the week, the same Chamber rejected the expert status of Gaspard Musabyimana, a high-ranking official of former President Habyarimana who refuted allegations of the existence of a parallel power structure in the administration.   Arrested in Belgium six years ago, Zigiranyirazo, aged 69 years, has been on trial since October 3, 2005.   AT/PB/KD © Hirondelle News Agency