Arusha, May 21, 2001 (FH)- Two more witnesses on Monday testified to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) about the April 2000 exhumation of victims killed in Cyangugu, southwest Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide. Prosecution witnesses "LCF" and "LCH", dubbed as such to protect their identities, were the 34th and 35th to testify in the trial of three former Cyangugu leaders charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.

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The case groups former Cyangugu prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, former commander of Cyangugu military barracks Samuel Imanishimwe and former Transport Minister André Ntagerura who comes from Cyangugu. LCF and LCH were the fifth and sixth consecutive prosecution witnesses to testify on the exhumation of bodies of victims removed from a stadium in Cyangugu in April 1994 and subsequently killed. According to these two witnesses, their husbands were among 16 people who were removed from Kamarampaka stadium in Cyangugu on the orders of former prefect Bagambiki, and subsequently killed. According to the witnesses, the bodies of the 16 victims were exhumed on April 28th last year from a mass grave that had previously been used as a pit latrine. They were reburied in May in Cyimbogo commune in Cyangugu, after relatives identified them. The body of a 17th victim was not identified. LCF said that she last saw her husband alive on April 7th, 1994, "the day after the President's (late former president Juvénal Habyarimana's) death". She told the court that villagers held meetings and contributed funds for widows to exhume the bodies. During cross-examination, the defence maintained that there were contradictions between her written statement to ICTR investigators and what she was saying in court. LCH said that the body of her husband had wounds on the legs and a large opening on one side near the ribs. Like two previous witnesses, she claimed that the body had no heart, and that "I learnt the attackers ate the hearts of their victims". LCH said that although she was scared to verify this herself, other people who witnessed the exhumation with her put their hands into the body through the opening in the ribs, and noted that the body had no heart. She added that the body was reburied on May 13th last year. The hearing is before Trial Chamber Three, composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. SW/JC/FH (CY0521e)