Arusha, April 23, 2010 (FH) -A lawyer this week got into hot soup after he was accused of having used abusive language with racial connotations against the bench.

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On the spot is the French citizen Vincent Courcelle-Labrousse who is the lead counsel of genocide-accused Callixte Nzabonimana, Rwanda's former Minister for Youth during the 1994 killings.

''Defence counsel made several utterances which may amount to abusive language with racial connotations,'' alleged Ugandan presiding Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa on Monday, flanked by Judges Mparany Rajohson from Madagascar and Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov from Russia.

Judge Bossa claimed that the counsel made derogatory remarks referring the chamber such as ''Mongolian Chamber'' and the whole Tribunal ''A Banana Republic''. ''This is an insult not only to the Chamber but also to the whole Tribunal,'' Judge Bossa charged, demanding an explanation from the lawyer.

The lawyer said he had no knowledge of ''what the Chamber was talking about''.

Judge Bossa explained further that such words were spoken among members of defence team shortly before lunch-break. The defence counsel quickly intervened saying: '' Anything stated outside the hearing process is beyond the jurisdiction of the Trial Chamber.''

Presiding Judge said, "The Chamber seizes the matter and will act according to this Tribunal rules.''

Nzabonimana is facing five charges-- genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder, as n the whole week the session was presided under closed doors.

The trial continues Monday.

Meanwhile, Joseph Nzirorera, then MRND Secretary General jointly tried with the party's President Mathieu Ngirumpatse and his deputy Edouard Karemera continued calling genocide convicts to defend him.

Among them is historian Ferdinand Nahimana, who told the Tribunal that MRND leaders neither participated in creation of Radio Television Libre de Mille Collins (RTLM) nor used it to present their 'extremist ideologies'.

"None of the trio formed part of the group set up by 15 persons who created RTLM," said Nahimana, a founder member of the radio, currently

serving 30-year-jail term in Mali.

When cross-examined, however, Nahimana admitted some MRND members, including President Juvenal Habyarimana, genocide fugitive Felician Kabuga and Nzirorera were shareholders of RTLM.

The trial continues Monday. The trio is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. The three men have pleaded not guilty. They are mainly charged with crimes committed by members of their party.


© Hirondelle News Agency