Arusha, May 29th, 2000 (FH) - A psychiatrist on Monday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that former Rwandan mayor and genocide suspect Ignace Bagilishema was a moral man. "He is a deeply religious man, a man of good morals," said expert defence witness Doctor Al Housseynou Dia of Mauritania.

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"It seems to me highly unlikely that events could destabilize him to the point where he would carry out two directly contradictory acts. "The doctor was referring to allegations that Bagilishema both helped to save Tutsi lives and encouraged Hutus to kill Tutsis. Bagilishema was mayor of Mabanza, in the Kibuye prefecture of western Rwanda, from February 1980 to July 1994. The prosecution says he played a leading role in the massacre of Tutsis who fled to the region during the genocide that took place from April to July 1994. Dr Dia told the court he had done a character analysis of the accused at the request of French defence lawyer François Roux and Mauritanian co-counsel Maroufa Diabira. He said he had met with Bagilishema five times at the ICTR prison in Arusha. "He is a man of good works, a man of peace, a conciliatory person," the doctor continued. As to whether he could be mistaken, Dr Dia said: "I don't think I have been taken in by stories. I believe I have understood his personality. "He described Bagilishema as a person in good mental and physical health, apart from "a slight depression, caused by his incarceration". "He believed all his work had gone to waste, while his family was scattered and his house occupied," Dr Dia told the court. "All that had made him bitter. "Throughout the trial, the defence has presented Bagilishema as a man of peace and unity, someone who was dedicated to the development of his commune and could not have helped destroy his own work. Witnesses for the defence say attacks on Mabanza were conducted by "Abakiga" northerners from other communes. They say Bagilishema asked for military reinforcements but these did not arrive, and that he did not have the means to withstand the attacks. Another expert witness reinforced this picture of Bagilishema earlier on Monday, saying Bagilishema did not have the means to counter widespread violence. "The war [against Tutsi RPF rebels] and introduction of multiparty politics brought disorder, which then spread," French sociologist François Clément told the court, "and people started doing things which would not have been possible before. "" I do not see how the mayor could have held out against numerous bands of armed men, against large-scale violence. He did not have the means to do that," Clément continued. Clément said he went to Rwanda several times from 1989 to 1994, helping to oversee communal planning in Kibuye. He was working for a French research organization which worked under subcontract for the Swiss Oversees Development Ministry. "During my visits to Rwanda, I always worked in Kibuye and each time I spent between two and three days in Mabanza commune," Clément said. "I had the opportunity to work with various officials in that commune, I travelled around a lot and I think I can say I new it relatively well. "Clément also told the court that Bagilishema was a grassroots mayor and did not have privileged ties with members of the former ruling elite. "I never had the impression that Bagilishema had privileged relations with any ministry. I suppose he had his own network of contacts, but I never saw him in a situation of particular privilege in relation to ministries or departmental directors, " Clément said. He also subscribed to the picture of Bagilishema as dedicated to his work. "Bagilishema was the mayor who involved himself most successfully in communal planning," the witness told the court. "He wanted development for his commune. "JC/AT/CR/FH (BS%0529e)