Arusha October 31, 2000 (FH) An investigator testifying in the trial of three former officials accused of genocide in the Cyangugu prefecture of southwestern Rwanda in 1994 told the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) how he examined 16 bodies of victims found in the region inMay, 2000. Australian investigator Ralph Lake told the court on Tuesday that the bodies of victims found in Cyiambogo commune of Cyangugu were in a "somewhat mummified condition" and in various states of clothing.

1 min 45Approximate reading time

He was testifying as the tenth prosecution witness in the case where former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, former Transport Minister André Ntagerura and Samuel Imanishimwe, who was commander of the army barracks in the prefecture, are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Investigator Lake told the court that he was on his second mission in Cyangugu on May 11th this year, when he saw a group of about 100 people gathered around the front of a building in Cyete sector of Cyiambogo commune, in Cyangugu. "There was also a strong unpleasant smell, the source of which at that stage I did not know", he told the court in answer to questions from prosecutor Andra Mobberley of New Zealand. Lake explained how he saw 16 bodies in a room in the building, all lying on sheets of plastic on the ground. The investigator said that he examined each body, labelled the bodies alphabetically and took video and photographic recordings. He added that he also removed samples of clothing from the bodies which he labelled accordingly. He said he spoke to numerous people at the scene and then to several people later, individually in relation to potential identification of the bodies. Some of the people took certain pieces of clothing and signed documents to say what they had taken, he told the court. They also made and signed statements with the assistance of translators, Lake said. Earlier a prosecution witness told the court that he was able to identify a victim from the clothes he was wearing when the victim's body was discovered sometime this year. The prosecution submitted video tapes, photographs and some of the preserved pieces of clothing, produced in court as exhibits. The Chamber is to view the video tapes as the case continues on Wednesday despite objections by the prosecution. Prosecution had strongly objected to the viewing of all the tapes which would take three hours, and that the defence had had ample time to view them earlier. But defence counsel Georges So'o of Benin maintained that the Chamber should view the tapes because he would not accept an exhibit that had not been viewed in court . The 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%3110f)