Arusha, February 20, 2001(FH) - Former Rwandan mayor and genocide suspect Emmanuel Bagambiki shut fleeing Tutsis into a stadium who were later killed, a survivor told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday. The 24th prosecution witness, dubbed "NL" to protect his identity, told the court that in April 1994, Bagambiki took refugees who had gathered at the Cyangugu Cathedral, southwest Rwanda, to the Kamarampaka stadium in Cyangugu where they were "locked up".

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Bagambiki, a former prefect of Cyangugu prefecture, and Samuel Imanishimwe, a former Cyangugu military leader, are on trial with former Transport Minister André Ntagerura in the so-called Cyangugu trial, which started on September 18th. All three are accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecution says they conspired together to organise the extermination of Tutsis in Cyangugu. NL said that the refugees who got to the stadium on April 16th "did not leave the Cathedral wilfully" and that soldiers prevented from leaving the stadium. According to NL, Bagambiki came to the stadium in the company of commander Imanishimwe and other local leaders and addressed the refugees. NL added that Bagambiki read a list of names and these people were "taken away". "He said that among us refugees, some had radios with which they communicated to the Inkotanyi [derogatory for Tutsi] and these would be taken for questioning, " said witness NL. "My name was called but I remained silent," he told the court. He said he later learned the 16 people who were taken away were killed at the gendarmerie brigade on the same evening. Another witness (the 23rd), dubbed NI for her protection, told the same court that on April 16th, at the Kamarampaka stadium, Bagambiki read out 17 names and these people were taken away. The witness, a young Tutsi woman, told the court that her father was killed during the genocide. She gave most of her testimony in closed session. NI said that people dressed like Interahamwe (militia) removed her and some children from the stadium on April 17th. NI said that she and surviving members of her family fled to the former Zaire in July 1994. The defence maintained that NI could not distinguish Hutus from Tutsis and only assumed that their attackers were Hutu because she had been told so since childhood. The hearing continues Wednesday with the testimony of witness NL before the ICTR’s Trial Chamber Three, composed of Judges Lloyd Williams of Jamaica (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/FH (CY_0220e)