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Defence requests acquittal of Ferdinand Nahimana

The hearing of preliminary motions filed by the Defence in the case of Ferdinand Nahimana, a former senior representative of Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) took place today with the Defence requesting the court to acquit the accused or at least order an amendment to the indictment.

The preliminary motions heard today are based on the defects in the form of the indictment, in the form of decision in confirming the indictment, and in the manner of service of the indictment.

The Defence Counsel Mr. J. M. Biju-Duval, assisted by Ms Diane Senechal, argued before Judge Navanethem Pillay (presiding), Judge Laïty Kama, and Judge William Sekule, that the indictment was imprecise and did not give chance for his client to prepare his case. He added that apart from its being defective, the confirmation of the indictment was also flawed and he further added that it was never properly served on the accused.

The Prosecution, led by Mr. James K. Stewart, assisted by Mr. Van Alphonse, countered that the preliminary motions filed by the Defence be dismissed because the indictment was valid and in no way defective in form, adding that it met the requirements in the rules of procedure and evidence, and fulfilled its function.

The Prosecution further told the court that the accused is charged in the indictment with conspiracy to commit genocide, "and this conspiracy involves the accused and other people who were broadcasting and running the RTLM. "

Nahimana, who is facing charges of conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to cornmitt genocide; complicity in genocide; and crimes against humanity, was arrested in Cameroon on 27 March 1996 and transferred to the Tribunal's Detention Facilities in Arusha on 23 January 1997.

Following the lengthy presentation by the Defence and the Prosecution on the matter, the Chamber decided that, due to the substantial issues raised by both sides on the matter, ruling will be delivered at a later date.

For information only - Not an official document

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