Trial Chamber 1 has authorized the United Nations Secretariat to appear before it as Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) in the Jean-Paul Akayesu trial, in accordance with the provisions of Rule 74 of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence, to make a statement on the scope of the waiver of immunity enjoyed by General Romeo Dallaire as former Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR).
General Dallaire will testify as a witness for the Defence beginning 23 February 1998, on the basis of a subpoena issued on him by the Trial Chamber following a request by Akayesu's Defence Counsel. The Secretary-General will be represented in the Amicus Curiae presentation by a member of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs in New York, Ms. Daphna Shraga.
The Trial Chamber's decision to authorize this presentation took cognizance of the Secretariat's request to be represented during the testimony of General Dallaire. The Representative of the Secretary-General will present her statement on the issue of Dallaire's immunity before the testimony of Dallaire. [This supersedes our information in Press Release No. INFO/9-2-102 of 16 February 1998 regarding the precedence of the intention of the Government of Belgium to make an Amicus Curiae submission in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Theoneste Bagosora scheduled to commence on 12 March 1998].
Rule 74 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal provides that: "a [trial] Chamber may, if it considers it desirable for the proper determination of the case, invite or grant leave to a State, organisation or person to appear before it and make submissions on any issue specified by the Chamber."
Defence motions on behalf of indicted woman and her son
In a separate development, Trial Chamber 1 today heard a motion by the Defence for orders for protective measures for defence witnesses and their families in the case of Ms Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, a former Minister of Family and Women Affairs.
Defence Counsel Nicole Bergevin told the court that she had 10 witnesses in Kenya who urgently required protective measures before they could testify on behalf of the accused. The motion was later withdrawn so that it could be amended and re-filed.
A second motion by the Defence alleging denial of a request for appointment of Co-counsel in the case was also heard. Ruling on the motion will be made later.
Hearing of two other motions in the case of the former minister's son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, in which the Defence is praying for separate trials for the two who are presently jointly charged, and on defects in the form of the indictment, was adjourned to enable the Defence study the Prosecutor's response.