Arusha, November 23rd, 2000 (FH) - A survivor of the 1994 Rwanda genocide told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday that slain Tutsis were thrown into a pit latrine in his homestead during attacks in April that year. The twelfth prosecution witness, dubbed "LAD" to protect his identity, was continuing his testimony in the case against three genocide suspects accused of massacring Tutsis in the Cyangugu region of southwest Rwanda.

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They are former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and Samuel Imanishimwe, who was commander of Cyangugu military barracks. The witness said that when the death of President Habyarimana was announced, attacks were launched against Tutsis and many, including himself, fled to the Shangi Parish in Cyangugu. "We told ourselves that if you seek refuge in God's place you will not be killed," LAD told the court. But, he continued, attacks were launched there on April 13th and 14th, 1994, by assailants who surrounded the Church. The witness said that another attack on the Shangi Parish left thousands dead, including his mother and sister. He said that afterwards the Parish was littered with corpses. "Among them, I could see the bodies of my mother and younger sister," LAD told the court. "There are not more than 70 survivors, even if the little children are included. "The witness said that in 1995 during a reburial ceremony, the body of a teacher was among those removed from a pit latrine in his homestead. He said that three bodies were thrown into the pit latrine, while a fourth person, who was injured, managed to climb out. During cross-examination by defence, LAD said that the person who escaped death and came out of the latrine is still alive. The witness finished his testimony on Thursday. The prosecution presented a 13th witness dubbed "LGI", but the defence raised objection to his testimony on the grounds that it was “hearsay”. The court said it would deliver a decision on Monday when the case continues. This case is being heard by Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR composed of Judges Lloyd Williams of Jamaica (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/FH (CY%1123e)