Arusha, September 20, 2001 (FH) Rwandan genocide suspect Doctor Gerard Ntakirutimana shot and killed the accountant of the hospital where he worked during the 1994 genocide, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. Doctor Gerard is being tried jointly with his father Elizaphan Ntakirutimana.

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At the time of the genocide, Elizaphan was Pastor of Seventh Day Adventist church in Mugonero, Kibuye prefecture, while Gerard was a doctor at the infirmary which lay in the same complex. The two have pleaded not guilty to five counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The witness, dubbed "GG" to protect his identity, said the killing of the accountant Charles took place at some time in April 1994, after the genocide started. "He (Gerard) called out to Charles," GG told the court. "Charles turned towards him, and he immediately shot him in the chest. "GG also testified that Pastor Elizaphan had driven a truckload of militiamen to the church complex to kill Tutsis that had sought refuge there. The previous prosecution witness, "MM", had earlier admitted under cross-examination that Gerard helped a young Tutsi boy to flee at the peak of the killings in Mugonero. "I recognize that in fact it was a good gesture because the boy is still alive," said MM. Gerard's American defence lawyer Edward Medvene also challenged MM's testimony that Doctor Gerard had ordered the cutting of the telephone connection to Mugonero complex at the time Tutsis were taking refuge there. Medvene suggested that the telephone connection had been cut by Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) Tutsi guerillas rather than by Doctor Gerard. However, MM insisted he had seen someone sent by Gerard cut the phone line from within the complex. Medvene also put to the witness that contrary to MM's testimony, the water supply to the complex had not been cut on Gerard's orders. "How could he have done this when his family used the same supply line?" asked the lawyer. The witness responded that Gerard and other staff members in the complex could have relied on reserve tanks for water. The trial continues on Monday with the testimony of GG. At the end of Thursday's session, presiding Judge Erik Mose of Norway said only two judges would sit on the case at the beginning of next week, as Judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa will be away on mission. The case is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of judges Mose (presiding), Pillay and new judge Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. GG/JC/phd/FH (NK0920e)