Arusha, 11 July 2008 (FH) – Former Rector of Christ the King College in Rwanda, Priest Hormisdas Nsengimana on trial for 1994 genocide and crimes against humanity, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Friday that all prosecution witnesses who testified against him have given false evidence in order to revenge against him. “I understand the reason.

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We have so many people who are very active called, IBUKA (Association of Genocide Survivors) who lost their loved ones and will like to revenge,” Nsengimana explained in response to the question asked by the Presiding Judge, Eric Mose.
Judge Mose wanted to know why 17 prosecution witnesses would come before the Chamber to tell lies about his direct and indirect involvement in the massive killings which took place in Nyanza Parish, Butare prefecture, South Rwanda.
The 54-year old Catholic priest who was in his last day in the dock defending himself, alleged that most of the prosecution witnesses came from Mugonzi village, where Christ the King College was located and that they were
“coached” about what to testify against him as part of the efforts to frustrate Hutu intellectuals. Father Nsengimana is Hutu.
He further alleged that some witnesses came to testify out of fear of being punished back home as their colleagues who refused to join the prosecution witness group had been arrested and imprisoned by the authorities in Rwanda.
Earlier, during cross examination led by ICTR prosecuting counsel, Brian Wallace, the defendant strongly reiterated that he did not take part either directly or indirectly in the killings of Tutsi women, priests and other high profile Tutsis in Nyanza parish.
Among the clergyman he was alleged to have directly killed were two Tutsi priests--Justin Furaha and Mathiieu Ngirumpatse-- who were his classmates at Nyakibanda Major Seminary.
The defendant denied all allegations levelled against him one after another, ranging from organizing incitement meetings, abductions and killing in collaboration with some of his employees at Christ the King College, friends and soldiers. He concluded his testimony and to pave way to another defence witness.
Next week the Chamber will visit Nyanza parish where the alleged massacres took place.
Nsengima was arrested in 2002 and his trial commenced in June 2007.