Arusha, November 20th, 2000 (FH) – Former Rwandan prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and former military leader Samuel Imanishimwe handed out arms in mid-April 1994 so that a church complex could be attacked, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday. The eleventh prosecution witness, dubbed “LAM” to protect his identity, was speaking as the trial resumed of three genocide suspects accused of massacring Tutsis in the Cyangugu region of southwest Rwanda.

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Bagambiki, who was prefect of Cyangugu, and Imanishimwe, who commanded the military barracks there, are being tried jointly with former Transport Minister André Ntagerura. LAM told the court that Bagambiki and Imanishimwe distributed arms to militiamen who used them to attack Tutsis taking refuge at the Nyamasheke Parish. "I can personally confirm that the prefect and the commander brought arms to Nyamasheke,” LAM told the court during cross-questioning by Bagambiki’s Canadian co-counsel Luc Boutin. “It is not something someone told me. ”Boutin suggested to the witness that his client had never been in Nyamasheke in mid-April 1994, nor participated in any distribution of arms. The witness retorted that this was like saying no Tutsis had died on April 15th in Nyamasheke. LAM, who was a member of the extremist Hutu CDR party at the time of the genocide, has admitted taking part in the attack on Nyamasheke. He said that before the attack, there were rumours that Tutsi refugees were preparing to attack Hutus. According to LAM, Nyamasheke Parish was attacked three times in April 1994. The testimony of this witness began on November 2nd before Trial Chamber Three of the ICTR, composed of judges Lloyd Williams of Jamaica (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. However, LAM’s testimony was suspended after the Rwandan mayor Laurent Semanza. The two trials are alternating before the same court. Cross-questioning continued Monday afternoon. AT/JC/FH (CY%1120E )